Wall Street capped a day of listless trading Thursday with a late-afternoon pullback led by technology companies that left the major stock indexes in the red.
The S&P 500 fell 0.4%. The benchmark index, which had been up by 0.4%, was weighed down by losses in Apple, Microsoft and other huge tech companies even though most of the stocks in the index rose. Those losses outweighed gains in banks, industrials and other sectors.
Small-company stocks bucked the trend and continued to rally, a sign that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy. Treasury yields also rose. Still, the market pullback has the S&P 500 on track for its first weekly loss in three weeks.
“It’s a pause in a momentum trade that probably keeps going for a while,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird. “Sentiment is still pretty hot, but has cooled a little bit.”
The S&P 500 fell 14.30 points to 3,795.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 68.95 points, or 0.2%, to 30,991.52. The Nasdaq composite dropped 16.31 points, or 0.1%, to 13,112.64. The indexes are still close to their record highs set last week.
Markets have been mostly charging higher recently amid growing optimism that the rollout of coronavirus vaccines will set the stage for a big rebound for the economy and corporate profits later this year. Expectations are also rising for another round of stimulus coming for the economy because Democrats are set to soon have control of the White House, Senate and House.