The 50-share index swung between a high of 7,683.20 and a low of 7,579.30 before settling at 7,656.40, showing a mere gain of 1.80 points, or 0.02 per cent.
It was a roller-coaster day for the Indian markets, witnessing breathtaking rally, marked by bouts of caution and hectic buying.
A strong start lifted the bellwether index to another life-time high, buoyed by the Narendra Modi Government's ambitious action plan, unveiled yesterday, to bring sweeping change across several sectors to boost an economy growing below 5 per cent, its slowest pace in more than a decade.
Capital inflows and strong global market sentiment, too, supported the initial momentum.
However, stocks failed to maintain the early momentum following hectic profit-booking amid concerns over deficient rainfall, dragging the benchmark below the 7,600 mark.
The shares rebounded smartly towards the tail-end. Firm buying in technology and healthcare along with FMCG stocks saved the day. Financial, capital goods, energy and metal counters remained under intense selling pressure.
Global markets are witnessing solid rallies in recent weeks cheered by a string of impressive macro data, including a healthy US jobs report as well as stronger Japanese economic growth numbers amid a marked improvement in Chinese manufacturing and trade outlook.
Most Asian and emerging markets ended higher buoyed by overnight record-breaking close on the Dow and S&P 500.
Technology heavyweights were among the top gainers, with Infosys climbing 2.97 per cent, Tech Mahindra 2.47 per cent and Wipro rising 2.59 per cent. Other gainers included Cipla, Cairn, TCS, HCL, Lupin, Coal India and Dr Reddy's.
Key losers included DLF, Grasim, Ambuja Bhel, Tata Steel, ONGC, Sesa Sterlite, PNB, IDFC and HeroMoto.
Turnover in the cash segment slumped to Rs 23,609.74 crore from Rs 26,169.37 crore yesterday. A total of 16,695.52 lakh shares changed hands in 97,69,562 trades, while market capitalisation stood at Rs 88,64,622 crore.