US stocks slipped on Wednesday after weak data on the services sector and private payrolls cooled recent optimism that the recession was retreating.
The services sector contracted in July, data showed, while another report said private employers cut 371,000 jobs last month.
Disappointing corporate outlooks also weighed on the market and spurred investors to ease off from a four-day rally that had driven the three major US stock indexes to close on Tuesday at their highest levels in nine to 10 months.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 39.22 points, or 0.42%, to 9,280.97.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 2.93 points, or 0.29%, to 1,002.72.
The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 18.26 points, or 0.91%, to 1,993.05.
Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble was the biggest drag on the Dow after it reported a slide in quarterly sales.
Among other financial stocks, Bank of America jumped 6.5 percent to $US16.66, while the S&P financial index jumped 3.3%.