U.S. stocks wavered on Wednesday, largely erasing a retreat from records, as investors mulled the slowdown in Europe's economy and earnings from Macy's and other retailers.
"A time out is probably well needed, a straight line up is not the healthiest thing," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group.
Utilities were hardest hit among the S&P 500's 10 major sectors after the United States and China reached an accord on carbon reductions to curb climate change, with Public Service Enterprise Group and Exelon among the top decliners. Macy's gained after the department-store chain posted third-quarter earnings that beat estimates, while its revenue missed. The company also cut is full-year guidance.
Wednesday data had wholesale inventories rising 0.3 percent in September, versus expectations for a 0.2 percent gain.