US stocks have closed lower as investors weighed the latest M&A activity and batch of retail earnings.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched down 42.32 points, or 0.25%, to 16,633.18.
The broad-based S&P 500 yielded 2.13 points, or 0.11%, to 1,909.78, leaving it short of a third consecutive record close. However, the index set a fresh intraday peak earlier in the trading day.
Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 11.99 points, or 0.28%, to 4,225.08.
With no major economic data released in the US, investors were forced to analyse the latest batch of earnings releases for signs of the strength of the US economy.
Among those reporting were retailers Michael Kors and DSW, with the former largely meeting expectations by lifting profit 60% and the latter reporting a big miss.
The news sent DSW stock down over 20%, while Michael Kors stock was largely flat.
Elsewhere, Canadian firm Valeant raised its unsolicited bid for Botox-maker Allergan by over 20%, in another encouraging sign of surging M&A activity.
However, investors were largely in a cautious mood ahead of the release of US growth, jobs and housing data tomorrow.