The Dow Jones industrial average edged up six points to 15,451 in midday trading on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down two points to 1,751. The Nasdaq slipped 16 points to 4,014.
A private survey on Wednesday showed that U.S. businesses added jobs at a steady but modest pace in January, a sign that hiring has rebounded after a disappointing December. Investors are also looking ahead to a key government report on job growth, due out Friday.
Freight transportation company C.H. Robinson Worldwide fell the most among companies on the S&P 500 index. It dropped $5.30, or 9 per cent to $53.34.