The Dow closed nominally higher, the S&P 500 edged fractionally lower, and the Nasdaq - the session's biggest mover - shed just over a tenth of a percent.

Despite the quiet session, November has been a banner month for stocks, with the S&P 500 on track to notch its biggest monthly percentage gain since July of 2022.

And a broader range of names have participated in the rally, notes Liz Miller, founder and president of Summit Place Financial Advisors - a notable difference from earlier in the year when the so-called Magnificent 7 mega caps carried the day.

"What strikes me when I look across the whole market is that the mega caps today have been pretty flat. That's where we're actually seeing consolidation. And it's that second tier stock that we're seeing some strength in. And that's a very good sign for this market at this point in the year, because we've really been waiting for the rest of the market to move forward and catch up with those mega caps. So on a quiet day, I think it's a pretty positive move."

She points to Nike, up 1.5%, as being one of those second-tier stock gainers on Wednesday.

Among those mega caps, Microsoft shed 1%, while Apple and Amazon each lost half a percent.

Among other movers, shares of Salesforce, up about 2.5% at the close, gained another 7% in after-hours trading after it forecast fourth-quarter revenue and profit above Wall Street's expectations.

Shares of Humana and Cigna Group were down 5.5% and 8%, respectively, after a source familiar with the matter said the health insurers are in talks to merge.

And General Motors' shares jumped more than 9% after the automaker announced a $10 billion share buyback and a 33% dividend boost. Ford shares gained 2%.

Earlier in the session the Commerce Department revised an already-strong initial estimate on third-quarter GDP, from 4.9% upward to 5.2%, which underscored U.S. economic resilience but also appeared to give the Fed little reason to start cutting interest rates in the near future, as long as inflation remains above the central bank's 2% target.

Investors now turn to Thursday's crucial personal consumption expenditure inflation report for more clues about the future path of the Fed's monetary policy.