Major Wall Street stock indices edged to fresh records on Wednesday while European and Asian markets mostly retreated as the United States and China signed a long-anticipated trade agreement.
Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 13, 2020 on Wall Street in New York City. (Photo: AFP)
Both the Dow and S&P 500 finished at all-time highs, while the Nasdaq ended barely positive. Analysts increasingly question whether valuations are getting out of control after a series of records.
"We've been on a tear since mid-October," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare, who said investors likely will wait for more earnings reports from big companies before moving significantly further.
"It's going to take a lot of good new news to get the market to take another leg higher," he said.
Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said the weakness among technology shares "might be the first sign of a looming correction."
Earlier, European indices followed Asia lower, though London's benchmark FTSE 100 posted a rise owing to a weaker pound which boosts share prices of the index's multinationals whose earnings in are foreign currencies.
Investors have cheered the trade deal following nearly two years of conflict in which US-China trade tensions occasionally flared, pressuring stocks.
The deal between the world's dominant economic powers called off some US tariffs that had been planned on Chinese goods, and obliged China to beef up purchases of American crops and other exports and provide intellectual property protections for US technology.
Key figures at 2200 GMT
New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 29,030.22 (close)
New York - S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 3,289.29 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.1 percent at 9,258.70 (close)
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,642.80 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 percent at 13,432.30 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,032.61 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,768.96 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.5 percent at 23,916.58 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 28,773.59 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,090.04 (close)
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3038 from $1.3019 at 2200 GMT
Euro/pound: UP at 85.52 pence from 85.48 pence
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1149 from $1.1128
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.90 yen from 109.99
Brent Crude: DOWN 0.8 percent at $64.00 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.7 percent at $57.81 per barrel