Stocks snapped a three-day winning streak on Wednesday after a report showed housing starts fell sharply in October and weak outlooks from two software firms.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 0.5 percent.
Techs, which have been an investor favorite as of late, took a hit after engineering-software maker Autodesk delivered a weaker-than-expected outlook and customer-relations software maker Salesforce.com reported a slowdown in new business. The stocks dropped 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Housing starts unexpectedly fell 10.6 percentto their lowest level in six months, weighed down by a sharp decline in construction activity for both single-family and multi-family dwellings.
At the same time, the consumer price index rose 0.3 percent, indicating that inflation may not be quite as benign as some economists have indicated.
HP wasthe biggest drag on the Dow, down 1.6 percent, while Bank of America was the biggest gainer.
Bank of America rose 3.7 percent after billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson said he expects the stock to double in the next few years.