Wall Street declined on Tuesday, a day after a record close on the S&P 500, investors weighed federal budget negotiations and looked ahead to next week's Federal Reserve meeting in the absence of market-moving economic data.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52 points or 0.33%, to 15,973, the S&P 500 lost six points or 0.32%, to 1,803 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped eight points or 0.2%, to 4,060.
The Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Meanwhile, Fed officials will be watching the outcome of US budget talks to trim automatic spending cuts and break a three-year stretch of failed fiscal talks in Washington.
Economic data showed job openings in the US climbed to a five-year high in October.
Healthcare stocks were among the most active after company news while utilities were the worst performer.
Twitter (TWTR.N) hit an all-time high of $52.58 after a spate of product announcements that could boost its revenues. Shares closed up 5.8%.
Other Internet stocks also performed well on Tuesday with Facebook (FB.O) up 2.9% and Yahoo (YHOO.O) up 3.5%.
In the healthcare orbit, AbbVie (ABBV.N) shares hit a record high of $54.11 after its all-oral hepatitis C therapy cured 96% of difficult-to-treat patients in a late-stage clinical trial. Shares ended up 1.8%.
Pharmacy chain CVS Caremark (CVS.N) and pharmaceutical distributor Cardinal Health (CAH.N) announced a 10-year agreement to form the largest generic drug operation in the US. Cardinal Health closed up 3% and CVS added 1.9%.
Shares of Rambus Inc (RMBS.O) jumped 12.3% after the company settled a patent dispute with Micron Technology (MU.O).
General Motors Co (GM.N) stock fell 1.2% after the automaker said chief executive Dan Akerson will step down next month.
In the financial sector, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. added 1.2% as federal agencies approved the Volcker rule to limit proprietary trading.
In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday in late morning trade as investors weighed the timing of a reduction in the Fed’s unprecedented stimulus.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.3% to 140 as of 10:49 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index dropped 0.4% today as the yen strengthened from the close of equity markets yesterday in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3%, with BHP Billiton retreating 1.6%.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.2% and Taiwain’s Taiex index was little changed.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.7% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.1%.