A trader wearing a 'Dow 20,000' hat works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), December 13, 2016 in New York City.

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A trader wearing a ‘Dow 20,000’ hat works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), December 13, 2016 in New York City.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 40 points, with Caterpillar contributing the most losses. UnitedHealth and Merck, however, helped cap losses. The Nasdaq composite outperformed, rising 0.5 percent as biotechnology stocks spiked higher.

The major U.S. equity indexes closed lower on Tuesday as energy stocks faced pressure from oil’s sharp fall, but the Dow managed to hit a record intraday high.

Stocks have been on a tear this year, with the S&P rising more approximately 9 percent, largely led by information technology. The tech sector has jumped nearly 20 percent this year as shares of large-cap stocks in the space have risen sharply. Tech’s rise has also boosted the Nasdaq composite, which is up 15 percent year to date.

In economic news, mortgage applications rose 0.6 percent as interest rates remained low. Existing homes sales unexpectedly rose in May to the third highest monthly level in a decade, up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.62 million units.

Treasury yields traded slightly higher, with the 10-year Treasury yield near 2.17 percent.

Overseas, European equities traded mostly lower, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipping 0.26 percent.

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