The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a fourth consecutive record high close on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 ended marginally lower after a disappointing profit forecast from Priceline and a drop in financials.
The S&P 500 financial index <.spsy> led decliners with a 1.33 percent fall.
Defensive sectors such as utilities <.splrcu> and consumer staples <.splrcs> were the top gainers on the S&P 500, both rising more than 1 percent. Procter & Gamble
The U.S. 2-to-10-year Treasury yield curve hit its flattest in a decade, potentially cutting into the profits of banks, which borrow money at short-term interest rates in order to lend it out at longer terms. US/N
"Companies that miss expectations are being punished severely. That`s proof that there`s nervousness in the market," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Investors were also nervous about the potential outcome of a Republican plan to cut corporate taxes, unveiled last week. As well as slashing the corporate rate to 20 percent from 35 percent, the bill would eliminate many tax breaks and is expected to face opposition from interest groups.
The Russell 2000 index <.rut>, which tracks U.S. small-cap stocks, dropped 1.26 percent.
"There is some skepticism about the tax bill going through," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at Newbridge Securities in New York.
"The fact that the Russell is down is a sign that there are worries about the fate of the tax bill because smaller companies tend to pay higher tax rates than bigger companies."
The S&P 500 has risen about 15 percent in 2017, helped by strong earnings, an improving economy and promises by President Donald Trump to cut taxes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> ended up 0.04 percent at 23,557.23 after spending most of the day in negative territory. The S&P 500 <.spx> dipped 0.02 percent to 2,590.64.
The Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> slipped 0.27 percent to 6,767.78.
In extended trade, Snap Inc
During the session, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.39-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.50-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
About 7.0 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 6.4 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)