Stocks slipped on Monday on lack of catalysts to move the market higher after a six-weeks-long advance that has taken the S&P 500 index near record highs.
Reuters reported that the benchmark index has been up by more than six per cent so far this year after a steep rally in January that has stalled as the S&P and Dow industrials near multiyear highs.
Google Incorporated shares fell by one per cent at $777.67 after the company said in a filing former chief executive Eric Schmidt is selling roughly 42 per cent of his Google stake, a move that could potentially net him $2.51bn.
But the decline was offset by gains in Apple, up by 1.4 per cent at $481.73 after a New York Times report that the iPhone maker is experimenting with the design of a device similar to a wristwatch.
“It’s really the valuation and indications that the economy is improving that have pushed the market higher. We would have to see a probable correction before heading higher and that could come from weak economic data in the future,” the chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, Mr. Tim Ghriskey, said.
The Federal Reserve’s Vice Chairman, Ms. Janet Yellen, seen as a potential successor to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke next year, said the Fed is still aggressively stimulating an anemic US economic recovery that has failed to bring rapid progress on employment.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will describe his plan for spurring the economy in his State of the Union address. He is expected to offer proposals for investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down by 24.96 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 13,968.01. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 1.56 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 1,516.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 5.00 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 3,188.93.
Upbeat US and Chinese data last week helped the S&P 500 extend its weekly winning streak to six.
Opposition has grown to the $24.4bn buyout of Dell Incorporated, the Number 3 personal computer maker, as three of the largest investors joined Southeastern Asset Management on Friday in raising objections.