NEW YORK (TheStreet) --The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 snapped their five-day streak of record closing highs, though markets started a new trend in their second day of teeny, tiny moves. After weeks of clear upside pull, the markets seem stuck in neutral. Between Veterans Day and the tail-end of earnings season, it's been a quiet week so far with little in the way of market-moving news.
"The market is in pause mode as it digests recent gains and awaits some greater clarity on likely consumer spending as we ramp up to the holiday season," said Terry Sandven, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, in a phone call. "Toward year-end, we continue to believe that this is a 'buy the dips, grind higher' market."
The S&P 500 fell 0.07% on Wednesday, the Dow edged 0.02% lower, and the Nasdaq added 0.32%.
Markets had been drifting higher, and smashing records, since mid-October on the back of mostly positive earnings, better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, mid-term elections and signs the country would be resilient in the face of a global slowdown. But now it appears markets have run out of juice.
"The equity markets are currently running on 'fumes,'" Raymond James' Jeffrey Saut wrote in a note. "This is based on a number of proprietary indicators including our measurements of the stock market's current 'internal energy,' which ... is totally used up."
Oil prices were falling on fears global supply is outpacing demand, even after OPEC reported its largest monthly decrease in production since March. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4% to $76.85 a barrel.
J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get Report shares slid 4% after the bell. The retail chain posted a quarterly net loss of 77 cents a share, 3 cents narrower than analysts expected. Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report added 2.6% after reporting earnings of 54 cents a share compared to estimates of 52 cents.
Yahoo! (YHOO) pulled the tech-heavy Nasdaq higher after announcing its $640 million acquisition of video ad platform Brightroll. Shares added 3.1%. Yahoo!, which has seen a decline in display ad revenue, said BrightRoll's ad revenue would exceed $100 million this year.
Citibank (C) - Get Report , JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Report and HSBC (HSBC) - Get Report declined after agreeing to a $4.3 billion settlement. UBS (UBS) - Get Report shares made minor gains. Barclays (BCS) - Get Report shares were down 2.5% after delaying its settlement with regulators. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency penalized Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report , according to Reuters.
SeaWorld (SEAS) - Get Report shares dropped 9.4% after the company missed third-quarter earnings estimates and reported revenue down 8% year over year. The theme park operator has seen flagging attendance over the last few quarters as its animal treatment practices came under scrutiny.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.