The Dow and S&P 500 slipped on Tuesday as financial shares sank and on disappointing housing data, but the Nasdaq rose as investors snapped up technology shares ahead of results from Hewlett Packard
After a choppy session, financial shares fell as the U.S. Senate passed a bill to curb sudden credit card interest rate increases and hidden fees, a move that analysts said would hurt the profits of major credit card issuers.
Anyway you look at it, it's less favorable for banks, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco. It's going to be more restrictive on interest rate raises, he said.
Shares of American Express
The Nasdaq was cushioned from the worst of the losses, with big-tech stocks such as Apple Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 29.23 points, or 0.34 percent, at 8,474.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 1.58 points, or 0.17 percent, at 908.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 2.18 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,734.54.
Hewlett Packard, the world's top personal computer maker, gave a more pessimistic revenue forecast for the fiscal year as it reported in-line results, sending its shares lower.
HP fell 3.9 percent to $35.14 in extended trade after rising more than 2 percent during the regular session when it was among the top boosts to the Dow industrials.
Also weighing on sentiment, U.S. housing starts and permits fell unexpectedly to record lows in April, hitting shares in some residential construction companies such as Centex Corp
On Tuesday, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index <.VIX>, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, fell below 30 for the first time in eight months, extending a pullback from the bear market lows of early March.
The S&P 500 has climbed from a 12-year closing low in early March, rising 37.4 percent through May 8. But the benchmark index gave up some ground last week and is now up 29.8 percent since March 9.
Trading was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.35 billion shares changing hands, below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 2.13 billion shares traded, below last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,806 to 1,219 while advancers beat decliners on the Nasdaq by about 1,348 to 1,315.
(Editing by Leslie Adler)