U.S. stocks were little changed in choppy trading on Thursday as investors paused after an extended period of gains, expressing worries about a pullback.
Shares of financials, which had led recent gains, were losing ground. American Express
Weighing on the Nasdaq was Oracle Corp
Data showed factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region rose in September to its highest level since June 2007, underscoring hopes that the economic recovery was on track.
We're extremely overbought and extremely susceptible to a pullback, said Stephen Massocca, managing director of Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco. But there's been nothing but a barrage of positive news.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 3.09 points, or 0.03 percent, at 9,794.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.54 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,067.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 3.26 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,129.89.
In other data, new construction of U.S. homes and permits for future building scaled a nine-month high in August, and the number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, proof a recovery was under way.
But investors focused on a drop in single-family units groundbreaking activity. U.S. government bond prices rose.
On Wednesday, Wall Street hit 2009 highs on optimism about a global recovery. Stocks have risen eight of the last nine sessions on strong data and a pickup in merger and acquisition activity. The S&P 500 is up 58 percent since March lows.
Shares of American Airlines' parent, AMR Corp
Shipping company Fedex Corp
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)