Rally Slows, Bulls More Reflective

Stocks were little changed on Wednesday, struggling to sustain the recent rally that drove major averages to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrials eked ahead 0.66 points to a new record of 27,493.29,

The S&P 500 edged up 0.83 points to 3,075.45

The NASDAQ narrowly dropped 22.66 points, to 8,412.02, as big tech including Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all underperformed.

The Dow’s year-to-date gain now stands at nearly 18% after rallying 3.3% in the past month. The S&P 500 is up more than 22% this year after surging 4% in the past month.

HP surged more than 12% following media reports that Xerox has made a cash-and-stock offer for the personal-computer and printer maker. CVS Health rose 3.5% on stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

Qualcomm, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Fox Corp, and Papa John’s are among those due to report after the bell.

Corporate profits have been largely solid this earnings season as 75% of S&P 500 companies to report thus far have topped analysts’ expectations.

Stocks were also boosted by better-than-expected economic data. A gauge for U.S. services activities topped expectations for October, while the labour market remains solid as jobs creation easily beat estimate last month.

However, productivity south of the border dropped by the most since the fourth quarter of 2015 during the third quarter, the U.S. Labor Department said on Wednesday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury eased up, lowering yields to 1.83% from Tuesday’s 1.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 48 cents to $57.71 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $4.70 to $1,488.40 U.S. an ounce.