The Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new intraday record on Wednesday but Wall Street struggled for gains as biotech shares declined following a sharp drop in shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) .
The Dow rose 0.2% to 19,056, the S&P 500 declined 0.1%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.36%.
Orders for long-lasting goods in the U.S. increased 4.8% in October, according to the Census Bureau. Analysts anticipated far-slower growth of 1.5%. Excluding transportation, orders rose at a slower 1% pace. Core capital goods orders increased 0.4%, while core shipments climbed 0.2%.
Jobless claims rose in the past week, though remained at multi-decade lows. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits increased by 18,000 to 251,000, according to the Labor Department. The less-volatile, four-week average fell 2,000 to 251,000.
New-home sales fell 1.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000. Economists were looking for new home sales of 595,000.
The final University of Michigan Sentiment Index for November rose to 93.8, ahead of estimates of a reading of 91.6.
Wall Street's benchmark indexes scored record closes for the second day in a row on Tuesday. The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq each recorded all-time high closes, even though gains were modest. The Dow also closed above 19,000 for the first time in its history.
Crude oil prices turned higher on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported that domestic crude supplies for the week ended Nov. 18 fell by 1.3 million barrels.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose slightly to $48.04 a barrel on Wednesday morning after trading lower for much of the session.