By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK -- The S&P 500 closed lower and the Nasdaq snapped a 10-session winning streak Wednesday as investors took profits in Apple shares, while the Dow eked out another record high close.
Boosting the Dow were consumer discretionary shares including McDonald's (MCD), up 3.9 percent at 98.66, which also helped to limit losses on the S&P 500.
The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index added 0.8 percent, with shares of TJX (TJX) up 3.3 percent at $69.38 after results. Target (TGT) edged up 0.3 percent to $77.15 after a stronger-than-expected jump in same-store sales and profits for the fourth quarter.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to a House of Representatives committee provided few new clues for investors on the timing of an interest rate hike.
%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-975%Apple (AAPL) shares dropped 2.6 percent to $128.79, retracing recent gains. The stock is still up 16.6 percent for the year so far.
"It's a big hedge fund stock, and there's always the potential for some profit-taking among some shorter-term players," especially after the stock's big run-up, said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 15.38 points, or 0.08 percent, to 18,224.57, a record close. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) lost 1.62 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,113.86 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 0.99 points, or 0.02 percent, to 4,967.14.
Energy shares climbed with sharp gains in oil prices. The S&P energy index was up 0.4 percent, while U.S. crude oil prices rose 3.5 percent to $50.99.
Also lending support, data showed single-family home sales in January fell less than expected and supply rose to its highest level since 2010.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares tumbled 9.9 percent to $34.67 as the worst performer on the S&P 500. The world's No. 2 PC-maker reported flat or lower quarterly revenue in all of its operating units and forecast full-year earnings well below analyst expectations.
About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.8 billion average for the month to date, according to BATS Global Markets.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,697 to 1,359, for a 1.25-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,473 issues rose and 1,233 fell, for a 1.19-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 59 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq composite recorded 120 new highs and 23 new lows.
What to watch Thursday:
At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Commerce Department releases durable goods for January, and the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims and the Consumer Price Index for January.
Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates at 10 a.m.
These selected companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial results:
AMC Networks (AMCX)
Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD)
Chico's FAS (CHS)
J.C. Penney (JCP)
Live Nation Entertainment (LYV)
Monster Beverage (MNST)
Ross Stores (ROST)
Royal Bank Scotland (RBS)
SBA Communications (SBAC)
Sempra Energy (SRE)
Toronto Dominion Bank (TD)