US STOCKS-Wall St retreats from record levels; utilities fall

martes 30 de diciembre de 2014 14:24 GYT

* Further upside seen as limited after recent gains

* Trading volume expected to be light in holiday week

* Civeo shares plummet a day after results

* Indexes off: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 500 0.36 pct, Nasdaq 0.49 pct (Updates to afternoon trading, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Dec 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday, with major indexes pulling back from record levels as the recent rally lost steam, and the trend of modest moves and low volume continued heading into the final trading day of the year.

Despite the modest move lower, the day's losses were broad, with eight of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors in the red. Utilities - 2014's best sector performer - led the decline with a drop of 1.7 percent. Financials and materials managed to move just above the unchanged mark.

Equities have been trending to the upside recently, buoyed by strong economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve's commitment to be "patient" about raising interest rates. After the S&P 500 gained nearly 6 percent over the prior eight sessions, it notched its 53rd record close of the year on Monday, while the Dow just narrowly extending its streak of positive sessions to eight.

The speed and scale of the rally could push traders to take profits, and volatility could be amplified with many market participants out for the holiday, which stifles volume. The stock market will be closed on Thursday for the New Year's holiday.   Continuación...