MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Struggles To Maintain All-time Highs
By Sue Chang and Anora Mahmudova, 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 records.
The S&P 500 briefly set an intraday record but pulled back, falling less than a point to 2,495. Of the 11 main sectors, six were trading lower. Energy and consumer discretionary shares led the gains while real estate and health care were big losers.
"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 fractionally higher, adding 12 points to 22,131. The Nasdaq Composite Index was off less than a point to 6,453.
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 rose 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 1.1%. 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 7.2% 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 4.3% 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 5.7% after a report late Tuesday that the retailer is taking steps to go private .
Other markets: Oil prices advanced , with the U.S. crude benchmark rising more than 2%. 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 while the greenback strengthened, with the ICE Dollar Index gaining 0.6%.
Stocks in Asia closed mixed , while European indexes were mostly higher even as U.K. stocks slid.
--Sara Sjolin contributed to this report.