New York - US stocks edged lower on Wednesday, with indexes pulling back from record levels, though analysts viewed the market's recent uptrend as intact.
Wall Street has struggled for direction lately, with daily modest moves in either direction.
The S&P 500's 0.3 percent decline on Wednesday represented the benchmark index's biggest daily decline since May 20.
In a cautious note, the World Bank late Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecast for 2014 to 2.8 percent from 3.2 percent due to the impact of the Ukraine crisis and a harsh US winter.
However, with those issues largely in the rear-view mirror, the World Bank was confident economic activity was shifting to a stronger footing.
While the upward trend still considered intact, a lack of major trading events could limit gains.
The Dow ended at a fourth straight record Tuesday, while the S&P 500 closed lower after four days of record finishes.
“There's a bid underneath this market, and anytime we're lower it isn't long before buyers materialise, which should allow us to keep grinding higher until the next earnings season,” said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Global Financial Private Capital in Sarasota, Florida.
“There's not much in the market that's super cheap, but equities still offer the best yield” among asset classes.
Investors were keeping an eye on low levels of both trading volume and volatility.
The lighter-than-average volume could make the market vulnerable to sharp fluctuations, while some view the low levels of the CBOE Volatility index - the so-called 'fear gauge' - as a sign the market is not fully taking into account issues that could derail the rally.
The VIX rose 4.6 percent to 11.48 on Wednesday but remains well under its historical average of 20.
In a sign of the market's low volatility, the 14-day Average True Range on the S&P 500 hit 10.09, the lowest since February 2013.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71.25 points or 0.42 percent, to 16,874.67, the S&P 500 lost 5.75 points or 0.29 percent, to 1,945.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.00 points or 0.14 percent, to 4,332.00.
H&R Block Inc was the S&P's biggest percentage gainer, up 4.1 percent to $32 after reporting fourth-quarter results.
Micron Technology gained 2.9 percent to $30.36 a day after Credit Suisse raised its price target on the stock to $50 from $30.
Sources told Reuters that Amazon.com Inc later this year plans to launch a marketplace for local services, from babysitting to party clowns, beginning with a single market. Shares rose 1.9 percent to $339, limiting the Nasdaq's decline on the day.
Orexigen Therapeutics Inc plummeted 16 percent to $5.73 after the US Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision on the marketing application for its obesity drug by three months.
Bank of America Corp has reached an impasse in negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with the US Department of Justice relating to the bank's mortgage investments, according to the New York Times.
Shares of BofA fell 1.4 percent to $15.69. - Reuters