Stocks closed mostly lower as investors, growing more cautious as next week's Federal Reserve meeting approaches, locked in profits from the stunning run-up in technology stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 101.53 to close at 10,617.32, its first decline since last Tuesday.
Broader indicators also closed lower. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 11.73, to 1365.28, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 18.93, to 3125.04.
Traders said investors appeared ready for a break after the Nasdaq composite index's string of seven record-setting sessions. The Nasdaq had not closed lower since Oct. 27, and even with today's loss it has risen 11.5 percent since then.
"We're seeing some healthy rounds of profit-taking," said Bryan Piskorowski, market analyst at Prudential Securities. "When you run a one-minute mile, you've got to take a pause eventually."
Investors were also adjusting their positions ahead of Wednesday's report on the producer price index, which should offer the latest evidence of whether inflation is escalating in the U.S. economy. The Fed is expected to carefully monitor the report, one of the few economic barometers due for release before its next policy meeting, on Nov. 16.
If the Fed determines that inflation is threatening the economy, central bankers may raise interest rates for the third time this year.
"The market is continuing to focus on what the Fed will do," said John Shaughnessy, chief investment strategist at Advest Inc. of Hartford. "Expectations of an increase have been waning, but no one would be shocked if they raise rates by a quarter-point."
Higher interest rates can hurt stocks by cutting into corporate profits.
Online retailer Amazon.com fell 7-3/16, to 70-13/16, after the company announced plans to begin selling home-improvement goods, computer software and a wider array of video games. Analysts hope the broader product offerings will eventually make Amazon.com a profitable company, but some question how long the company can continue spending heavily to foster growth.
The company's shares rose 20 percent Monday amid speculation about the announcement, prompting some investors to lock in gains.
Microsoft, still smarting from a federal judge's antitrust ruling, fell 1-1/16, to 88 7/8. Analysts are divided about the long-term impact of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's decision Friday that Microsoft has abused its power as a monopoly in the software industry.
Home Depot fell 1, to 77 1/8. Some investors had expected Amazon.com to announce an alliance with the home-improvement retailer. Home Depot and Microsoft are two of the newest Dow components, having joined the blue-chip index Nov. 1. Together, the companies were responsible for about 12 points of the Dow's decline.
Monsanto rose 5/8, to 44 3/8. The Wall Street Journal reported that Novartis AG, the Swiss pharmaceutical maker, is in talks to buy all or part of Monsanto.
Charter Communications, the cable company owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, rose in its initial public offering of stock. Shares were priced at 19 and rose to 22 3/4 in very heavy trading.
On Wednesday, United Parcel Service will begin selling stock to the public in the biggest domestic IPO to date. Late today, underwriters priced 109.4 million shares of UPS at $50 each.
In after-hours trading, Bloomberg News reported, Cisco Systems shares jumped on news that the world's largest maker of Internet equipment reported quarterly profit and revenue that exceeded analysts' expectations. Cisco rose 3 3/8, to 77 5/8, in after-hours trading.