A 2 percent rise in crude oil futures to $93.18 a barrel also limited stock market gains, as higher fuel costs hit consumers and corporations.
Analysts said investors likely were taking an opportunity to sell following Tuesday's rally that marked the Nasdaq's biggest gain in more than four years. The Dow and the S&P 500 registered their biggest climb since September 18.
Government data showed a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. producer prices for October, defusing worry about inflation, and an increase in retail sales for October that was in line with expectations. The data provided some brief support to the market.