Wall Street flat awaiting jobs data

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Closed): Markets on Wall Street closed little changed, as investors waited for the release of July jobs data on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 2.95 points to 18,352.05.

The S&P 500 moved just 0.46 points up to 2,164.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq climbed 6.51 points to 5,166.25.

US investors appeared mostly unmoved by the Bank of England's decision to cut interest rates for the first time in seven years.

In the US a run of strong economic data, including Wednesday's private sector hiring numbers, could strengthen the case for the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates when it meets in September.

However, investors are waiting to see what the official monthly jobs data will reveal. Many expect slower employment growth in July than the previous month.

"There is a little bit of order being restored in the market today, but [it] is in a wait-and-see period ahead of the jobs report," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at Sarhan Capital.

21st Century Fox fell 4.4% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but higher costs held back gains.

Shares of Tesla rose 2.3%. The electric carmaker reported a widening quarterly loss but an increase in production.

MetLife was the biggest drag on the S&P 500. Shares tumbled 8.7% after the insurance firm missed earnings expectations.