Wall Street seesawed after reaching fresh record highs earlier in the day amid bets on an upbeat outlook for economic and corporate profit growth, while oil prices slid on a stalemate between Iran and Iraq on production cuts.

In 1.15pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.16 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.23 percent. In 1pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched 0.01 percent lower.

Wall Street earlier touched fresh record highs, with the Dow reaching 19,014.73, while the S&P 500 climbed to 2,203.56 and the Nasdaq hit a record 5,392.26.

"If we see the indexes close above the 19,000 and 2,200 levels, that would say we are going to move higher," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial, told Reuters. "I don't think we're going to see that in the next day or two. I think there might be selling around that level."

Advertisement

In the Dow, gains in shares of Verizon Communications and those of Home Depot, up 2.3 percent and 1.8 percent respectively, outweighed slides in shares of Visa and those of Johnson & Johnson, down 2.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

On Thursday US markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Oil fell after Iran and Iraq appeared unlikely to accept new OPEC production levels.

US Treasuries declined, pushing yields on the two-year note to the highest level in five years, reflecting increased bets the Federal Reserve with hike interest rates next month.

"After the Trump Shock, it's easy for the Fed to hike, because inflation expectations have gone up," as have stocks, Hideaki Kuriki, a debt investor in Tokyo at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, told Bloomberg. He said he's "100 percent" certain of tightening next month.

The spectre of higher rates also showed up in the real estate market.

A National Association of Realtors report showed existing-home sales grew 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in October, up from an upwardly revised 5.49 million in September. October's sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago and surpasses June's pace as the highest since February 2007, the group said.

If we see the indexes close above the 19,000 and 2,200 levels, that would say we are going to move higher.

SHARE THIS QUOTE:

"October's strong sales gain was widespread throughout the country and can be attributed to the release of the unrealised pent-up demand that held back many would-be buyers over the summer because of tight supply," Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in the report. "Buyers are having more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.2 percent advance from the previous close. Germany's DAX Index gained 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 Index increased 0.4 percent, and the UK's FTSE 100 Index climbed 0.6 percent.

"We're continuing to see a post-US election rotation into sectors, with the main winners being in materials, and financials," Guillermo Hernandez Sampere, head of trading at MPPM EK in Eppstein, Germany, told Bloomberg. In Europe, "we're still stuck in a trading range. If we manage to break through, we might see new highs for the year."