One day after crossing the 30,000-point mark for the first time ever, the Dow retreated at the close of trading Wednesday, though the Nasdaq finished at a new high.
While the wider US economy suffers unevenly from the Covid-19 pandemic, Wall Street has charged ahead in recent months, buoyed by the promise of a vaccine and the Federal Reserve's move to roll out huge liquidity lines.
At the close, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.5 per cent at 12,094.40.
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average however struggled most of the day to stay above 30,000, finishing 0.6 percent lower at 29,872.47, while the broad-based S&P 500 retrenched 0.2 per cent to close at 3,629.65.
Wednesday began with a slew of government economic data releases that showed new home sales remaining strong and durable goods orders increasing more than expected in October, even as consumers saw their incomes fall last month while jobless claims rose last week.
"Much of the recent upward momentum was spurred on by the optimism regarding a Covid-19 vaccine as well as some needed clarity on President-elect Joe Biden's administration," Charles Schwab Advisors said, describing today's session as a pause in the rally.
Tech giants were among Wednesday's winners, with Apple rising 0.8 percent and Amazon 2.2 percent.
Salesforce dropped 5.4 percent after The Wall Street Journal reported the software firm plans to buy corporate messaging platform Slack, which gained 37.6 percent.
Markets are closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.