Stocks retreated from a near 4-year high on Tuesday on signs that indicated China's economy may be slowing.
Weighing on both the equities and commodities markets, China raised fuel prices for the second time in less than six weeks, while BHP Billiton Ltd
But even with the S&P 500 up 12 percent for the year, market participants viewed the day's drop as a chance to take a breather before moving higher.
Do I think we are due for a pullback? Yes. Do I think this is the start of a pullback? No, said Mike Shea, managing partner and trader at Direct Access Partners in New York.
The news out of China caused everyone to look up and take a breath, but the sentiment hasn't changed. It's still bullish.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 67.28 points, or 0.51 percent, at 13,171.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 5.96 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,403.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 15.49 points, or 0.50 percent, at 3,062.83.
Before Tuesday, the S&P 500 index was at its highest point since May 2008 and about 10 percent below the record closing high of 1,565.15 set in October 2007.
The market has been showing resilience, shrugging off sluggish starts and building upward momentum later in the session to close higher.
Easing concerns about the euro zone's debt crisis and improving U.S. economic data have lifted the S&P 500 more than 11 percent for the year and over 27 percent from an October low.
Permits for U.S. homebuilding neared a 3-1/2 year high in February, even as groundbreaking activity slipped, the government said Tuesday, suggesting a nascent recovery in the sector was still on track.
Shares of Tiffany and Co
Adobe Systems Inc
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp
(Reporting By Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)