Wall Street stocks finished firmly lower Tuesday after a tech sector rally faded in the latter portion of the session, even as Walmart and other retailers reported strong results.
Investors have been awaiting a bounce in the tech-rich Nasdaq following a period of weakness, but a late-session dive pushed it lower, along with the Dow and S&P 500.
"Unfortunately, dip-buyers were flaky today, thereby keeping a lid on risk sentiment and keeping the S&P 500 within a consolidation trend," said Briefing.com.
The Nasdaq finished down 0.6 percent, with Apple, Amazon and Facebook all losing more than one percent.
Earlier, European bourses closed little moved after earlier flurries of post-coronavirus optimism, while oil prices fell and the dollar steadied.
US stocks have been choppy the last few weeks as investors weigh signs of rising inflation against hopes for strengthening economic growth in the second half of 2021.
Data Tuesday showed new home construction in the United States dropped in April, falling 9.5 percent after the prior month saw strong growth.
The report comes ahead of Wednesday's release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes. The central bank has repeatedly emphasized it will maintain its easy-money posture, but volatility in markets show investors remain skeptical of those assurances.
An exception on Wall Street was Walmart, which gained 2.2 percent after reporting earnings that topped analysts' expectations by a wide margin, even as sales growth slowed from the peak of the pandemic.
Elsewhere, London, Frankfurt and the Euro Stoxx index were all close to flat, while Paris fell slightly.
Economic data showing a 1.3 percent first-quarter contraction in Japan didn't hold Tokyo's stock market back from leading Asian gains, while Taiwan and Singapore defied fears of spreading coronavirus variants to close higher.
Oil fell back, in part due to reports of progress on talks in Vienna to bring the United States and Iran back into the 2015 nuclear deal.
And the dollar slid versus its main rivals.
BK Asset Management's Kathy Lien attributed the greenback's drop to disappointing US housing data, which followed the lackluster April jobs report.
"It was only a matter of time before the dollar sold off across the board as these reports reinforce the Federal Reserve's reluctance to respond to rising price pressures," Lien said.
"At a time when the global recovery is gaining momentum, the dollar should underperform."
- Key figures around 2040 GMT -
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.9 percent at 34,060.66 (close)
New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.9 percent at 4,127.83 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.6 percent at 13,303.64 (close)
London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 7,034.24 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 15,386.58 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 6,353.67 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 4,005.34 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.1 percent at 28,406.84 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.4 percent at 28,593.81 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,529.01 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2226 from $1.2152 at 2100 GMT on Monday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.4186 from $1.4134
Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.17 pence from 85.98 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.91 yen from 109.21 yen
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.1 percent at $68.71 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.2 percent at $65.49 per barrel