US STOCKS-Wall St dips; S&P holds above 1,900 after hitting new peak

Wed May 28, 2014 11:04am EDT

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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped, with technicals in focus and scant key items on the U.S. economic calendar, as the S&P 500 hit yet another intraday record in early trading Wednesday.

Investors' appetite for equities has been supported by recent strong U.S. economic data and expectations of monetary easing by the European Central Bank, while the U.S. 10-year yield touched its lowest since July, below 2.46 percent.

"We made a pretty decisive move above 1,900" on the S&P 500, said Jim Paulsen, chief investment officer at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis.

"Economic momentum is clearly to the upside at the moment, the surprise index is up and that's pretty powerful for stocks," he said, referring to Citi's Economic Surprise Index, which measures how well data performs relative to forecasts. "We've had a constant stream of better than expected data and the bond market has remained supportive."

Dividend payers could get a bump among equities as downward pressure continues on fixed income yields.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 37.83 points, or 0.23 percent, to 16,637.67, the S&P 500 lost 1.89 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,910.02 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 10.24 points, or 0.24 percent, to 4,226.83.

If the S&P 500 advances for a fifth straight day, it would be its second-longest run this year. The index hit 1,913.62, a fresh intraday record high, and remains in the 1,910 area seen as technical resistance. Support kicks in at 1,900 and then at the 14-day moving average, now near 1,889.

U.S.-traded shares of Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals fell 3.8 percent to $124.98 after it raised the cash component of its offer for Botox-maker Allergan , valuing the U.S. firm at $49.44 billion. Allergan fell 5.1 percent to $156.55.

Shares of Toll Brothers, the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, rose 1.2 percent to $36.07 after it reported that its quarterly profit more than doubled as it sold more homes at higher prices.

Among retailers, Michael Kors dipped 0.2 percent to $95.56 after rising earlier in the day following a rosy quarterly earnings report as sales of its handbags and watches surged in North America.

But footwear retailer DSW lost more than a fourth of its market value after missing estimates on both results and forecasts. The stock fell 26.1 percent to $24.02.

Shares of obesity drug maker Vivus Inc rose 4.3 percent to $4.87 after shareholder Aspen Investment Fund said it was planning to offer to buy the company for $640 million. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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