Updated from 4:17 p.m. EST

A selloff in shares of Intel ( INTC) dragged the tech sector lower Wednesday, while strength in energy and mining stocks minimized the losses for blue chips.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, coming off its latest record close, slipped 5.44 points, or 0.04%, to 12,577.15, and the S&P 500 gave back 1.28 points, or 0.09%, to 1430.62. The Nasdaq Composite was the worst performer of the major indices, dropping 18.36 points, or 0.74%, to 2479.42.

Volume was again strong, with 2.76 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange. Advancers narrowly edged decliners. Nearly 2.34 billion shares traded on the Nasdaq, and losers outpaced winners 9 to 7.

After the prior session, Intel said its fourth-quarter profit sank 39% year over year but topped analysts' estimates. Sales in the three months ended Dec. 30 totaled $9.7 billion, at the high end of the company's guidance.

However, what proved unsettling to investors was word from the chipmaker that its pricing battle with AMD ( AMD) isn't letting up. Shares of Intel slumped $1.26, or 5.7%, to $21.04.

Intel was the biggest drag on the Dow industrials, and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index, of which it's also a component, lost 0.8%. On the plus side, the Amex Gold Bugs Index rose 0.6%, and the Amex Oil Index was up 1%.

Edgar Peters, chief investment officer with Pan Agora, said the market should take its future direction from economic data, not earnings releases.

If you liked this article you might like

Paradigm Opportunity Protects Investors in Tough Times

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens (Correct)

U.S. Investors Brace for a Third Bailout in Greece

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

40 Hedge Funds' Best Stocks Show the Way for 2012 (Update 1)