NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks retreated from records on Wednesday (Aug 20) despite some strong earnings from retailers and Apple hitting a historic landmark as it became the first US company worth US$2 trillion.
Analysts pointed to profit-taking after Tuesday's session, which saw both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq end at all-time highs.
"You've had such a huge run," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare. "It's not all that uncommon once you've achieved a record high to see some backtracking."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.3 per cent at 27,692.88.
The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.4 per cent at 3,374.86, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.6 per cent to 11,146.46.
Stocks were choppy throughout the session, but fell after Federal Reserve meeting minutes that showed central bankers worried about US economic weakness and viewing another fiscal package as necessary.
But talks on another fiscal package remain stalled amid partisan fighting in Washington.
Apple gained 0.1 per cent, retreating a bit from its peak earlier in the session when it became the first US company to reach US$2 trillion in market value, a surge that underscores how tech giants have benefited amid the pandemic.
Among other stocks, Target jumped 12.7 per cent as it reported an 80 per cent increase in profits to US$1.7 billion following surging sales amid the coronavirus. Target is among the multipurpose retailers deemed "essential" that stayed open throughout the spring when many smaller chains closed.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber dropped 2.4 per cent after US President Donald Trump called for boycott, citing a report that the tire company banned employees from donning Trump's campaign hat.
Goodyear said it has directed employees "not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace - for any candidate, party or political organisation."
Boeing shed 0.6 per cent despite announcing a rare new order for its embattled 737 MAX. Poland's Enter Air ordered two MAX planes and took options for two more MAX planes.
The MAX has still not been cleared by regulators to resume service following two deadly crashes.