US stocks mostly lower, ending four-day Dow, S&P streak

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks finished mostly lower on Wednesday, snapping a four-day winning streak for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

At the closing bell, the Dow lost 31.79 (0.20 per cent) at 15,962.98. The S&P 500 dipped 0.49 (0.03 per cent) to 1,819.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 10.24 (0.24 per cent) to 4,201.29.

The losses came even as the Senate voted to lift the US debt ceiling through March 2015, averting a contentious political battle that could have rattled markets.

Wednesday's muted market response is "a pause after yesterday," said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors, alluding to US equity gains of more than one per cent on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson described current market attitudes as "neutral" after negative sentiment dominated earlier in February. "The direction is not clear," Mr Johnson said.

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