Stocks finished lower Wednesday. The S&P 500 drifted from yesterday’s record close, losing 6 points to 2,927. The Nasdaq Composite was down 18 points to 8,102 after touching a fresh all-time intra-day high. The Dow fell 59 points to 26,597.
The major averages posted modest declines as investors assessed mixed corporate earnings results. Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory, with the more defensive Real Estate and Utilities groups outperforming. Energy shares slumped 1.9%, as WTI crude dipped 0.8% to $65.75/barrel.
In earnings, Boeing edged 0.4% higher to $375.46 after posting a profit tally in line with analyst expectations. Caterpillar slipped 3.0% to $137.73 despite delivering a top and bottom line beat. AT&T lost 4.1% to $30.79 after reporting a larger-than-anticipated drop in wireless and TV subscribers during the fourth quarter. In M&A news, shares of Anadarko Petroleum jumped 11.6% to $71.40 amid reports that Occidental Petroleum has offered to purchase the oil driller for $76 per share, well above Chevron’s $65 per share offer.
Breadth was even on issues on the NYSE and negative by 9:8 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 3.4 billion shares.
On the data front, the lone update showed mortgage applications fell 7.3% in the latest week, but remain 6.6% higher than this time last year. Overseas, German business sentiment fell to its lowest level since 2016, sending global sovereign debt higher. U.S. Treasuries rallied, with the yield on the 10-year note sliding five basis points to 2.52%. In FOREX trading, the U.S. dollar extended gains on a weaker euro.