US stocks closed an uneasy session lower as investors, uncertain if the worst of the credit crisis is over, refrained from extending Tuesday's huge advance.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.70 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed 0.78 percent lower, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.10 percent.
"Yesterday was just a reflex rally. We're back to the good old wait-and-see posture, waiting for tomorrow's (Consumer Price Index) announcement," said Frederic Dickson, senior vice president and market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Ore.
"I think a lot of traders realize that the overall situation hasn't changed a whole lot, with yesterday's rally notwithstanding. There are more mortgage-rate resets on the horizon."
The blue-chip Dow Average and the S&P 500 spent much of the day in positive territory as an advance by the shares of energy companies like Exxon Mobil and big banks such asBear Stearns tempered doubts about the sustainability of Tuesday's sharp gains.
Trading was volatile, with investors wary a day after the market's strong surge, which sent the Nasdaq to its biggest advance in more than four years. Investors were also cautious before the US CPI for October is released Thursday.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page