Updated from 4:04 p.m.

Stocks ended lower Wednesday, hurt by some lackluster earnings forecasts and profit-taking.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 27 points, or 0.3%, to 8560, while the Nasdaq shed almost 17 points, or 1.1%, to 1507. The S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.5%, to 929. The Nasdaq had started the session at its highest level in six months.

"Tech has done relatively well, and the Nasdaq has gained ground year to date, so people are seeing this as a chance to take money off the table," said Michelle Clayman, chief investment officer at New Amsterdam Partners, an asset management firm.

On the NYSE, 1.5 billion shares were traded, with losers outpacing winners by a slight margin. About 1.9 million shares changed hands on the Nasdaq, with decliners ahead of advancers by 17 to 13.

"Investors had been anticipating a top, and when it appeared, averages failed to break to the upside, showing the trend upwards wasn't strong enough to hold gains," said Ken Tower, chief market strategist at CyberTrader.

The Dow's loss would be substantially worse if it weren't for gains in Coca-Cola ( KO), which rose almost 6% to $43.27 after Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares to overweight, saying the benefits of a restructuring are about to kick in.

Meanwhile, Altria Group ( MO), owner of cigarette maker Philip Morris, faces a new lawsuit against the marketing of its "light" cigarettes, but said it doesn't expect a big financial impact from the suit since it involves minor brands. Philip Morris Capital, the company's financial unit, also announced plans to sell assets and generate much-needed cash. Altria shares gained 1% to $31.37.

Network bellwether Cisco ( CSCO) reported its second-best quarter ever Monday night, as measured by the bottom line. The company earned $987 million, or 14 cents a share, on revenue of $4.62 billion, compared with last year's $729 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $4.82 billion. But the shares didn't reap any benefits because the company also had lukewarm sales guidance, even though it said revenue could still come in "on the upside" of the current forecast. Shares lost almost 3% to $15.50.

Shares of a few related companies eased, with Juniper Network ( JNPR), Applied Materials ( AMAT) and Taiwan Semiconductor ( TSM) falling.

Another company to provide a lackluster forecast was Kodak ( EK), which said second-quarter sales in China, its second-largest market after the U.S., would be affected by the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, according to media reports. Kodak shares ended the day 1% lower at $30.72.

Meanwhile, chipmaker Intel ( INTC) reiterated its projections for second-quarter revenue between $6.4 and $7.0 billion, compared with revenue of $6.75 billion in the first quarter. Analysts expect revenue to reach $6.66 billion in the second quarter, according to Thomson First Call. The company also said current economic conditions make it "particularly difficult to predict demand." Shares of Intel lost 2% to $19.16.

Kmart Holding's ( KMRT) newly minted shares were began trading on the over-the-counter market Wednesday after the retailer emerged from Chapter 11 on Tuesday. Kmart shares fell 10% to $13.55.

Video game maker Electronic Arts ( ERTS) was a source of strength after beating fourth-quarter earnings estimates and raising guidance for the fiscal year that started last month. Shares of the company gained more than 1% to $62.60.

Corning ( GLW), a maker of cable for telecommunications, said it would buy as much as $800 million of its convertible bonds to lower its debt. Corning shares climbed almost 4% to $5.90.

The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in March, compared with a 0.3% rise the previous month. That was above economists' expectations of a 0.2% increase. Meanwhile, sales at U.S. wholesalers jumped 1%, twice the rate in February.

Overseas markets were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 down 0.3% at 3992 and Germany's Xetra DAX down 2% at 3005. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed 2.2% higher at 8083, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3% to 8889.

The 10-year Treasury was higher, driving the yield down 10 basis points to 3.68%. Brent crude for June settlement was down 2 cents at $23.55 a barrel in London, and the dollar was slightly stronger against the euro but lower against the yen.

On Tuesday, the Dow ended 0.7% higher at 8588. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to 934, while the Nasdaq gained 1.3% to 1523.

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