Wall St retreats from highs

US stocks close mixed as deluge of earnings, data sparks fresh Fed talk.

United States stocks closed mixed, and mostly lower, as investors adjusted to a lighter economic calendar following the busy pace of recent weeks that left markets at record highs. Fresh data also sparked a renewed look at the prospect of the US Federal Reserve's plan for its stimulus spending.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 46.23 points, or 0.30%, to 15,612.13 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 2.53 points, or 0.15%, to close at 1,707.14 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 3.36 points, or 0.09%, to close at 3,692.95 points.

Data from the Institute for Supply Management's July purchasing managers index for the services sector showed a healthy jump in activity, which offered a boost for investors, but also raised concerns that the Fed could accelerate its plans for tapering its bond-buying program, analysts said.

Some investors also fixated on comments from Federal Reserve Bank of Texas President Richard Fisher that advocated a quick tapering.

Monday's trade was "just a modest pullback," said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare described Monday's atmosphere as a "lull after the information storm," which included last week's heavy corporate earnings calendar and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting, culminating in Friday's mixed monthly jobs report.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed out last week at record highs.

Also, weaker-than-expected US jobs data release late last week was having an echo effect on markets. US stocks managed to reach fresh records late last week despite the disappointing data.

However, the data seems to have had a delayed impact on markets as investors revisited the meaning of the data showing that 162,000 jobs were created in the US in July, below the expectation of 183,000 jobs for the month.

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