US stocks swung lower in late selling, ending a four-day bull run based on cautious optimism that the economy would begin to recover from recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a modest 7.01 points (0.10 per cent) to close at 7,216.97 after logging a stunning nine percent rise last week from 12-year lows.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 27.48 points (1.92 per cent) to 1,404.02 and the broad-market Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 2.66 points (0.35 per cent) to 753.89 as investors of mostly financial stocks locked in profits.
“The widespread pursuit of profits acted as a virtual vortex during the final hour of trading, leading the major market indices to finish lower for the first time in five sessions,” said Andrea Kramer of Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
The Dow blue-chip index saw an early gain of 167 points evaporate.
Traders said profit-taking was inevitable as the financial sector had surged almost 40 per cent last week.
“The sector showed continued strength in the early going and even drove the broader market higher, but with conditions looking overbought, participants decided to take some money out of the game,” analysts at Briefing.com said.