U.S. stocks declined on Wednesday, with Wall Street retreating after a sixth day of gains for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, after data had new home sales declining in March and companies including Boeing and AT&T reported quarterly results.
"We've rallied for six consecutive days. You know what you're supposed to do on the seventh," said Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
"Earnings are coming out, and for the most part are either mixed or positive," said Stephen Carl, head equity trader at Williams Capital Group.
Boeing shares gained after the plane manufacturer tallied a 14 percent gain in adjusted net profit in the first quarter, topping expectations. AT&T slid as the number of customers chose to pay a premium for smartphones to get a lower bill in the future.
Biotech shares declined a day after Amgen posted earnings below estimates.
"The U.S. recovery remains in fits and starts," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, emailed after the Commerce Department reported new home sales fell 14.5 percent in March, the worst sales month since July.
The Markit survey of U.S. purchasing managers came in at 55.4 for April, below estimates of 56.0.
"It's still indicative of expansion, but not as good as the month before, and not the robust growth we thought we'd see," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 extending its longest winning run since September, with investors enthusiastic after a round of quarterly earnings and a pickup in M&A activity.