Wall Street's main indexes edged lower on Tuesday after three sessions of gains, as lower Treasury yields weighed on financial stocks, offsetting a boost from Home Depot's better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
After a stormy start to the month on worsening trade tensions, the three main indexes have rebounded sharply, erasing most of their losses from a steep selloff last week on rising hopes of global monetary stimulus.
The benchmark S&P 500 is now about 3.8% below its all-time high hit in July. It had fallen as much as 7% from its record last week.
"Markets have been extremely strong over the past few days, so there is a little bit of profit taking," said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager with Hodges Funds in Dallas.
Losses on the blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 indexes were tempered by a 4.4% rise in Home Depot Inc, which also drove a 0.32% gain in the consumer discretionary index.
"Home Depot's earnings show that people are continuing to invest in their homes, a positive for Wall Street and the US consumer," Bradshaw said.
US Treasury yields slipped on rising prospects of interest rate cuts as well as political woes in Italy and Britain's tumultuous exit from the European Union. [US/]
Bank stocks were under pressure as their profits are typically squeezed in a lower interest rate environment. The S&P 500 banks index slipped 1.05%, while the broader financial sector fell 0.76%
All eyes this week will be on Wednesday's release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting and Chair Jerome Powell's speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole central bankers' conference.
Powell's remarks will be closely monitored for hints if more policy easing is in store, against the backdrop of an ongoing trade war and growing fears of recession, signaled by the inversion of the U.S. yield curve last week.
At 12:34 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 45.11 points, or 0.17%, at 26,090.68 and the S&P 500 was down 7.30 points, or 0.25%, at 2,916.35. The Nasdaq Composite was down 9.08 points, or 0.11%, at 7,993.73.
Shares of Netflix Inc were the biggest drag on the S&P 500, losing 3% after Walt Disney Co announced its streaming service would launch in Canada and the Netherlands on November.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading lower. The energy sector lost 0.59%, weighed by lower
Medtronic Plc gained 4.5%, and was among the biggest gainers on the S&P 500, after the medical device maker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.The S&P index recorded 29 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 40 new highs and 61 new lows.