NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended almost flat Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing above the 2,000-point mark for a second straight day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.31 points, or 0.09 percent, to 17,122.01. The S&P 500 gained 0.10 point, less than 0. 01 percent, to 2,000.12, just above its previous all-time closing high of 2,000.02 set on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1. 02 points, or 0.02 percent, to 4,569.62.
The stock market took a breather, with the S&P 500 wavering around 2,000 points after the benchmark index closed above the milestone level for the first time on Tuesday.
In absence of important economic data, major stock indices opened slightly higher amid better-than-expected earnings from luxury goods retailer Tiffany.
Tiffany reported early Wednesday strong second-quarter results helped by solid sales growth in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. Its net income jumped 16 percent year over year to 124 million U.S. dollars, or 96 cents per share, in the second quarter, while net sales rose 7.2 percent. It also raised full-year profit outlook.
Investors also focused on China's e-commerce giant Alibaba's upbeat earnings for the most recent quarter released in its latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. Alibaba is expected to launch its initial public offering soon after Labor Day at the New York Stock Exchange.
According to its amended prospectus, Alibaba's net income almost tripled from a year ago to 1.99 billion dollars in the three months ending June 30, or 84 cents per diluted share, as revenue surged 46 percent to 2.54 billion dollars.
Investors are awaiting the Commerce Department's second estimate of U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter scheduled for release Thursday.
Preliminary data from the department showed the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the second quarter after unexpectedly shrinking in the first three months of this year due to severe winter weather.
On the previous trading day, both the S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow set record highs, as data showed that U.S. durable orders in July jumped the most since 1992 and U.S. July consumer confidence reached the highest level since October 2007.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, added 1.29 percent to end at 11.78.
In other markets, the dollar retreated against major currencies Wednesday and went down versus the euro on softened speculations that the European Central Bank would take more monetary easing measures next week.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3196 dollars from 1.3172 dollars in the previous session, while the U.S. dollar bought 103.88 Japanese yen, lower than 104.10 yen of the previous session.
Crude prices steadied as a government report showed U.S. crude inventories at Cushing, the contract's delivery point, increased last week, meeting expectations.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery edged up 2 cents to settle at 93.88 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped slightly as U.S. stocks continued advancing.
The most active gold contract for December delivery lost 1.8 dollars, or 0.14 percent, to settle at 1,283.4 dollars per ounce.