Wall St closes flat

Good jobs, housing, trade data met with soft market reaction.

Wall Street has largely erased losses in late trade to close flat despite continued fears of an imminent stimulus reduction from the United States Federal Reserve.

The concerns were stoked by strong new-home sales, an improved private sector employment report and record exports from the US. Investors had to weigh this against news of meagre growth in the eurozone and signs of slowing growth in the US non-manufacturing sector.

Investors appeared to take comfort from the release of the US Fed's beige book, which showed an economy with "modest to moderate" growth. Markets recovered much of their earlier losses after its release at 0600 AEDT.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 24.85 points, or 0.16%, to trade at 15,889.77.

The broad-based S&P 500 retreated 2.34 points, or 0.13%, to 1,792.81, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 0.8 of a point, or 0.02%t, to 4,038.00.

US private-sector hiring surged to 215,000 net new jobs created in November, payrolls firm ADP said, well above expectations.

Also, the US foreign trade deficit narrowed to $US40.6 billion ($A44.5 billion) in October on a strong rise in exports, the Commerce Department reported.

The higher exports suggested "a somewhat stronger global economy, and still resilient US domestic demand," said Tu Packard of Moody's Analytics.

Meanwhile, a report on non-manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management came in below expectations.