Investors took profits on recent gains in U.S. stocks on Wednesday, but a last-minute rise in Bank of America helped lift the Dow to its eighth straight day of gains.
Investors remain confident that solid corporate earnings will inspire further advances, but a recent string of lightly traded sessions raises worries that buying interest at these levels has dried up.
Energy and materials stocks weighed on indexes, pressured by weakness in emerging markets, a source of heavy demand for raw goods. Chevron Corp (CVX.N) was the weakest stock on the Dow, falling 1.5 percent to $96.24, followed by Alcoa (AA.N), off 1.4 percent to $17.16. The Morgan Stanley commodity-related equity index (.CRX) fell 1 percent.