Stocks ended lower Wednesday. The Dow lost 91 points to 25706 while the S&P 500 fell less than a point to 2809. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 2 points to 7642.
The major averages declined as investors assessed the latest economic updates and corporate earnings results. Today’s modest pullback followed Tuesday’s advance, where all three major U.S. averages notched their best trading session since March. On the data front, a report showed housing starts fell 5.3% in September as Hurricane Florence led to a slowdown in activity. In a separate release, weekly mortgage applications fell 7.1%, the lowest level since December 2014.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory. Energy stocks underperformed as WTI crude lost 2.6% to $70.05/barrel, touching its lowest price in a month after a government update revealed a larger than expected build in U.S. inventories. Tech shares also lagged with IBM down 7.6% to 134.05 after posting a decline in quarterly revenue. The Communication Services sector outperformed as shares of Netflix jumped 5.3% to $364.70 after the media giant topped both domestic and international new subscriber estimates.
Breadth was negative on issues by roughly 2:1 on the NYSE and even on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 3.2 billion shares.
Treasuries weakened along the curve following the release of the Federal Reserve minutes from its latest policy meeting. The statement reiterated the FOMC’s optimistic view of the U.S. economy. The yield on the 10-year note gained three basis points to 3.19%. COMEX gold lost 0.3% to $1,223.70/ounce amid a stronger dollar.