Stocks eased back below their record heights Tuesday as investors waited to hear whether the mixed bag of data coming in about the economy will push the Federal Reserve to let up on its massive support for markets.
The S&P 500 edged lower after a report showed inflation on the wholesale level leaped last month by more than economists expected. The worry is that if high inflation proves to be longer lasting than the Fed expects, it may have to halt its bond purchases and raise interest rates.
The S&P 500 fell 8.56 points, or 0.2%, to 4,246.59.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 94.42 points, or 0.3%, to 34,299.33.
The Nasdaq fell 101.29 points, or 0.7%, to 14,072.86.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 6.07 points, or 0.3%, to 2,320.07.
For the week:
The S&P 500 is down 0.85 points, or less than 0.1%.
The Dow is down 180.27 points, or 0.5%.
The Nasdaq is up 3.43 points, or less than 0.1%.
The Russell 2000 is down 15.74 points, or 0.7%.
For the year:
The S&P 500 is up 490.52 points, or 13.1%.
The Dow is up 3,692.85 points, or 12.1%.
The Nasdaq is up 1,184.58 points, or 9.2%.
The Russell 2000 is up 345.22 points, or 17.5%.