MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Struggles To Hang On To All-time Highs
By Anora Mahmudova and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
Apple shares slips as new iPhone X shipments are scheduled for November
U.S. stocks switched between small gains and losses on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq retreating from all-time highs as investors searched for catalysts that could breathe new life into the rally.
Some analysts argued that a pause was due after days of solid gains that propelled indexes to a records.
The S&P 500 briefly set an intraday record but pulled back, trading off by 1 point to 2,495. Of the 11 main sectors, six were trading lower. Energy and consumer discretionary shares led the gains, up 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.
"Markets are fully valued now, so earnings will need to catch up to prices. Until the next earnings season begins, we would not be surprised to see sideways moves or a time correction," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors.
"We could also see a pullback between now than then if there is a catalyst that would spook investors," Ogg said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was dipping in and out of negative territory and recently traded a touch higher at 22,122.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was off by 4 points to 6,450.
All three benchmarks closed at records on Tuesday, marking the first time since July 26 that they simultaneously achieved all-time highs.
"The U.S. stock market is exhibiting positive short- and long-term momentum, and breadth has expanded enough to lift the S&P 500 to a new all-time high," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG Research.
"Short-term overbought conditions have returned for the S&P 500, but they tend to be managed well when associated with a breakouts, which are abundant," Stockton said.
Economic news: The producer-price index increased 0.2% in August, mostly thanks to higher gas prices. Core PPI also rose 0.2%, though the 12-month change remains unchanged at 1.9%. The closely watched inflation report is due on Thursday.
Stock movers: Shares of Apple Inc.(>> Apple) slipped 1.2%. The tech giant on Tuesday revealed its new lineup of gadgets , but the much anticipated new flagship iPhone X it won't be delivered until November.
Centene Corp.(>> Centene Corp) climbed 6% after the health insurer said late Tuesday it has signed an agreement in which Fidelis Care will become Centene's health plan in the state of New York.
SeaDrill Ltd. (>> SeaDrill) surged 13% after the offshore driller said late Tuesday it has filed for bankruptcy protection and agreed to a major restructuring plan with its senior lenders.
Western Digital Corp.(>> Western Digital) dropped 3.3% after losing out on a Toshiba Corp. (>> Toshiba Corp) deal. Toshiba said it had picked a consortium led by Bain Capital , instead of Western Digital, to buy its chip business for more than $18 billion.
Nordstrom Inc.(>> Nordstrom, Inc.) rallied 5.2% after a report late Tuesday that the retailer is taking steps to go private .
Other markets: Oil prices moved higher , with the U.S. crude benchmark rising 0.8% to $48.61 a barrel. The gain came after reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is considering adding more non-cartel members to its output deal. In addition, the International Energy Agency said there are signs the oil market is tightening.
Gold prices fell 0.5% while the greenback strengthened, with the ICE Dollar Index gaining 0.6% to 92.396.
Stocks in Asia closed mixed , while European indexes mostly were lower, dragged down by a slide in U.K. stocks .