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[NEW YORK] The Dow and S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Wednesday, breaking their five-day streak of record closing highs as energy and utility shares lost ground, while the Nasdaq climbed.
Energy shares fell along with oil prices, with Brent crude oil breaking below US$80 a barrel for the first time since September 2010. Shares of Exxon Mobil were down 1.1 per cent at US$95.38, while the S&P energy index dropped 0.9 per cent.
S&P utilities slid 2 per cent and were the biggest drag on the benchmark index, reversing recent gains. The index is still up 7.6 per cent for the month so far.
The S&P 500 has rallied more than 9 per cent from a six-month low in October, buoyed by supportive economic data and corporate earnings. For the year so far, it is up 10.3 per cent. "The overall environment has really shifted from negative to positive. We had our bounce back ... so the markets are fairly quiet, and I think investors are actually fairly comfortable right now," said Bryant Evans, portfolio manager at Cozad Asset Management, in Champaign, Illinois.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.7 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 17,612.2, the S&P 500 lost 1.43 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,038.25 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.58 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 4,675.14.
Lifting the Nasdaq, Apple shares gained 1.4 per cent to US$111.25, a record high. Shares of Twitter jumped 7.5 per cent to US$42.54. It said during its first financial analyst day it is considering creating additional mobile applications.
Financial shares slipped after global regulators fined five major banks for failing to stop their traders from trying to manipulate the foreign exchange market. The banks included Citigroup Inc, whose shares dipped 0.7 per cent.
The day's gainers included retailers, with the S&P retail index climbing 0.6 per cent. Macy's Inc rose 5.1 per cent to US$61.57 after upbeat earnings. Shares of Fossil jumped 8.4 per cent to US$112.48, a day after its results.
Shares of J.C. Penney fell 1.3 per cent in after-hours trading, while shares of Cisco Systems dipped 0.2 per cent, both after reporting results.
Among the day's biggest NYSE decliners, SeaWorld Entertainment slumped 9.4 per cent to US$16.85 after earnings fell short of expectations.
NYSE advancers outnumbered decliners 1,669 to 1,410, a 1.18-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,645 issues rose and 1,029 fell for a 1.60-to-1 ratio.
About 5.9 billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.6 billion average this month, according to BATS Global Markets.