The S&P 500 and the Dow fell on Wednesday as declines in financials and defensive groups countered gains in tech shares and as data showed U.S. private employers laid off 20 million workers in April, underscoring the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended higher, although indexes pulled back late in the session especially after U.S. President Donald Trump said China may or may not keep a trade deal between the two countries.
Financials and other cyclical groups, which often outperform when the economic outlook improves, declined. Only two of the 11 major S&P sectors were positive, with tech leading.
Stocks have rebounded sharply since late March from the coronavirus-fueled sell-off, helped by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 218.45 points, or 0.91%, to 23,664.64, the S&P 500 lost 20.02 points, or 0.70%, to 2,848.42 and the Nasdaq Composite added 45.27 points, or 0.51%, to 8,854.39.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.31-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.42-to-1 ratio favored decliners.The S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 56 new highs and 23 new lows.
About 9.7 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 11.8 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.v