* Potential capital gains tax cuts eyed by investors
* Twitter falls after CTO announces departure
* Accenture lower after forecast misses estimates
* Indexes down: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.09 pct, Nasdaq 0.07 pct
(Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
Dec 21 U.S. stocks were largely unchanged on
Wednesday, with energy stocks slightly stronger and healthcare
down a little, a day after the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow
Jones Industrial Average hit record highs.
The Dow briefly rose to within 15 points of 20,000, the
historic level it has threatened to breach for several days, but
it relinquished that gain.
U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with
the Dow up about 9 percent and the S&P 500 6 percent on bets
that President-elect Donald Trump's plans for deregulation and
infrastructure spending will boost the economy.
Some investors are concerned that the so-called "Trump
rally" has made stocks expensive. The S&P 500 is trading at
about 17 times expected 12-month earnings, well above the
10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
"People are taking a pause and they want to see what's going
to happen," said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for
Cornerstone Financial Partners. "In his first 100 days in
office, it will be interesting to see what legislation they can
get through Congress and what regulations they will repeal."
Providing the market with support this week, expectations of
lower capital gains tax rates under Trump are giving investors
an incentive to not sell stocks until January, according to
Zaccarelli as well as to Randy Frederick, Vice President of
Trading & Derivatives at Charles Schwab.
"If you can hold back on capital gains for two weeks, why
not?," Frederick said. "There's just no incentive to sell right
At 2:22 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
down 0.04 percent at 19,965.91 points and the S&P 500 had
lost 0.09 percent to 2,268.66.
The Nasdaq Composite edged down 0.07 percent to
The S&P energy sector added 0.39 percent, while the
healthcare sector dipped 0.41 percent.
Accenture fell 5 percent after the consulting and
outsourcing software services provider's revenue forecast missed
estimates. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P.
Twitter fell 4.21 percent after its chief
technology officer said he would be leaving the company.
FedEx fell 2.83 percent after the package delivery
company's quarterly results missed expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.13-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.23-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 164 new highs and 34 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by