The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Wednesday on concerns over Greek debt talks, stalling a strong rally from last year, but the Nasdaq rose on Apple's forecast-beating results.
After weeks of bargaining, deadlocks and an intervention by euro zone ministers, Greece and its bondholders may resume talks as soon as next week, avoiding a messy default.
The euro fell from session highs against the dollar on worries the European Central Bank may need to take losses on its Greek bond holdings. A high correlation between stocks and the euro has diminished in recent weeks but is apt to reassert itself in times of concern about Europe.
We are getting a taste of what we suffered through last year where day-to-day we had solid fundamental improvement from the bottom up but bigger-picture concerns will tend to undermine that progress, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer, Harris Private Bank in Chicago.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 67.51 points, or 0.53 percent, at 12,608.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 3.09 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,311.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 8.27 points, or 0.30 percent, at 2,794.91.
Apple was up 6.2 percent to $446.40, a new record high, after its quarterly results blew past expectations as consumers snapped up near-unprecedented numbers of iPhones and iPads, sending its shares into record territory.
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The S&P 500 has rallied over 20 percent since lows in October of last year on signs of improvement in the U.S. economy and an easing of credit conditions in Europe.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, holding a two-day policy meeting that ends later Wednesday, looks set to keep monetary policy on hold even as it releases forecasts expected to show interest rates will be near zero for at least two more years.
Roche Holding AG
(Reporting By Edward Krudy; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)