After a triple-digit drop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended slightly lower, losing 20.9 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 15,618.22, with AT&T fronting blue-chip losses that included 19 of its 30 components.
Just under nine points from its record close set a week ago, The S&P 500 also closed slightly lower, off 4.96 points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,762.97, with telecommunications the top laggard and consumer staples the best performers of its 10 major industry groups. The Nasdaq gained 3.27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,939.86.
For every share rising, more than two fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 742 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.5 billion.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of investor uncertainty, held steady just above 13.
The dollar gained against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note used to figure mortgage rates and other consumer loans rose 6 basis points to 2.67 percent.
Oil and gold prices also fell, with futures pricing crude at $93.37 a barrel, off $1.25, or 1.3 percent, and gold down $6.60, or 0.5 percent, at $1,308.10 an ounce.