* DJ Transportation Average ends at record high - again
* 225 stocks hit 52-week highs on the NYSE and the Nasdaq
* U.S. 10-year note yield drops; best S&P sector - utilities
* Dow off 0.3 pct; S&P 500 down 0.1 pct; Nasdaq off 0.3 pct
(Updates to close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 28 The S&P 500 snapped a
four-session winning streak on Wednesday to end just shy of a
third straight record closing high.
The benchmark index had gained for four straight sessions as
investors' appetite for equities has been buoyed by supportive
U.S. economic data recently and expectations of monetary easing
by the European Central Bank. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note's
yield slipped below 2.44 percent, its lowest level
"We are due for a sideways trending market for a short
while, a period of consolidation following a four-day rally and
also with the broad equities being at or near all-time highs,"
said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth
Management in Minneapolis.
"This is a split-personality market with the S&P at or near
all-time highs in anticipation of an improving economy and
higher earnings, while the bond market and yields continue to
drop, suggesting maybe caution is warranted."
The drop in fixed-income yields could lift the prices of
dividend-paying stocks. The S&P utilities index rose
0.5 percent. It was the S&P 500's best-performing sector.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average extended its run
into record territory, ending at a lifetime high of 8,075.88
after hitting a record intraday high of 8,102.44. On Tuesday,
the DJ Transportation Average closed above 8,000 for the first
time. When the transports sector does well and is confirmed by a
similar move in the Dow industrials, the trend signals an
improved outlook for the U.S. economy and the stock market.
A total of 225 stocks on the Big Board and Nasdaq touched
52-week highs, while 59 issues hit 52-week lows. Notables
touching 52-week highs included ConocoPhillips and Dow
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.32 points or
0.25 percent, to 16,633.18. The S&P 500 lost 2.13 points
or 0.11 percent, to end at 1,909.78. The Nasdaq Composite
dropped 11.99 points or 0.28 percent, to 4,225.08.
The S&P 500 index hit 1,914.46 during the session, an
intraday record high. It remains in the 1,910 area seen as
technical resistance. Support stands at 1,900 and then at the
14-day moving average, now near 1,889.
Among retailers, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd climbed
1.3 percent to $97.01 following the company's quarterly earnings
as sales of its handbags and watches surged in North America.
But the company cautioned it expected the cost of opening new
stores in Europe to depress gross margins in the next few
In contrast, footwear retailer DSW lost more than a
fourth of its market value after the company missed estimates on
its results and outlooks. The stock sank 27.4 percent to $23.62.
Volume was modest, with about 5.38 billion shares traded on
U.S. exchanges, below the 5.79 billion average so far this
month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York
Stock Exchange by a ratio of about 16 to 15, while on the
Nasdaq, eight stocks fell for every five that rose.
(Additonal reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)