The S&P 500 gave up some gains after hitting a fresh record high Tuesday, amid a chip-led climb in technology and a jump in banking stocks.
The S&P 500 rose 0.06% and had hit a record intraday level of 4,300.70. the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.15%, or 23 points, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.16%.
Technology stocks continued to dominate direction, with chip stocks leading them higher. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX) hit a record high, powered by SWKS, AMD, and QRVO.
The megacap stocks traded largely mixed, with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) giving up some its gains a day earlier.
Facebook fell more than 1%, after the U.S. District Judge James Boasberg left the door open for the Federal Trade Agency to refile its claims against Facebook, and submit plans to strengthen its case against the social media giant.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) were mixed.
Financials, meanwhile, were boosted by a climb in banking stocks after major banks raised their dividends.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was among the highlights after more than doubling its dividend and announcing a $50 million share buyback program, sending its stock more than 3% higher.
Investor sentiment on the economy, meanwhile, was given a boost from data showing consumer sentiment is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
"The consumer confidence index rose to 127.3 in June from 120.0 in May (originally 117.2) and came in quite a bit stronger than the consensus of 119.0," Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said. "This is the highest reading in Confidence since the last pre-pandemic reading of 132.6 in February 2020."
Energy, meanwhile, traded below the flatline as the spread of the highly contagious delta Covid-19 variant has soured sentiment on demand recovery somewhat just days before major oil producers meet on Thursday and are expected to ease crude production curbs.
"[W]e believe they will answer the call to put more barrels on the market, potentially increasing supply by between 500 kb/d and 1 mb/d starting in August," RBC said in a note. "The new monthly meeting structure provides the producer group much needed flexibility and we think they will signal their willingness to adjust output as needed on a go forward basis." It added.
In other news, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) delivered a positive update on its Covid vaccine against coronavirus variants, including the delta variant first identified in India, sending its shares up nearly 6%.