Stocks little changed, Exxon weighs on the Dow


Stocks were anchored near the flatline all day after a pair of disappointing reports on private sector job growth and service sector activity, but most investors continue to attribute such weak readings to the harsh winter weather.

On cue, the Fed's Beige Book survey said economic activity improved in most parts of the country, but the weather was a drag.

Trading was quiet, as investors were less nervous after the early part of the week was dominated by tensions in Ukraine.

Treasury prices were marginally lower, with the benchmark 10-year yield up slightly at 2.692%; crude oil fell 1.8% to settle at $101.45 after a surprise climb in weekly U.S. distillate inventories and concerns over the potential for a slowdown in energy demand.

Exxon Mobil was the Dow's worst performer, -2.5%, after a weak production forecast.

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