Prices opened lower, but moved into the black on light short covering. The ISM report did not give the market much direction either. The headline data of 62.4, vs. March's 62.5 fell short of the strength expected. However, the underlying components -- employment and new orders -- surged, and construction spending soared. After a brief uptick and test of session highs, selling neutralized the move.
Prices sat in a 3-tick range for the balance of the session, shrugging off option-related sales late in the session. By the close, prices were back to even.
Traders positioned for tomorrow's FOMC meeting in anticipation Fed might take steps to gradually reduce accommodative policy. S&P's MarketScope sees no rate change but says the Fed might change its statement, and may delete the word "patience," saying instead that there's bit more risk of inflation.
Friday's Nonfarm Payroll report is the second big event of the week.