Walll Street fell short in its late-day bid for a rally, ending a ho-hum week in ho-hum fashion as the major indexes finished almost exactly where they began Monday.
Despite some strongly positive news out of technology companies, the market couldn't hold an early rally, sending the Dow lower by about 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq near even. The indexes finished positive by 0.4 percent or less.
Light volume continued to be the story. Despite Friday's letdown, the S&P and the Nasdaq are on pace to complete a sixth straight month of gains.
"The market's kind of continuing to digest what's been going on over the last several weeks," said Richard Sparks, senior analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati. "It's just the ebb and flow of the markets."
Consumer weakness brought down a raft of positive news from technology companies.
A revised outlook from Intel helped had lifted tech stocks higher, as it raised its third-quarter forecast on stronger-than-expected demand for its microprocessors and chipsets.
Consumer stocks performed poorly on a set of economic data showing continued weakness in income and spending.
Merck and McDonald's led the losers on the Dow, which fell after posting gains approaching 0.5 percent in the first minutes of trading. Boeing gave back some gains as well, the day after the aerospace company surged on positive news about its Dreamliner aircraft.