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Stocks Pull Back From Record Highs

Tickers in this article: BRCM DELL EA FB ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 slipped Wednesday, shying away from topping the 1,700 mark after coming within just points of what would have been a milestone mark for the index as caution prevailed.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.38% to 1,685.94 after trading as high as 1,698.38 Wednesday morning following evidence that the eurozone economy was rising out of a recession and a series of upbeat earnings reports from companies including Apple , Ford and Boeing . The index closed Wednesday's regular session up 149% from the bottom of the Great Recession on March 9, 2009.

Stephen Suttmeier, the New York-based chief equity technical strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch put out a note this week showing that he remains on the bullish side on the stock market, predicting a rally into the 1,700 level with rising resistance at 1,710 which, if shattered, could bring the S&P to its next leg higher at 1725 with the possibility of a longer-term move to 1,775. He's seeing short-term support for the S&P at 1,674 to 1,670 and a more important level of support at the index's prior resistance in the 1,654 to 1,650 area.

Meanwhile Craig Johnson, a Minneapolis-based senior technical research analyst at Piper Jaffray this week reiterated his 1,700 objective for this year and 2,000 target for 2014.

Sameer Samana, a St. Louis, Mo.-based international strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors maintains that the S&P 500 is now close to the upper end of his year-end target range of 1,650 to 1,700.

"All told, the improving health of eurozone economies fits my expectation that global economy activity will do well in the second half of the year providing a bullish backdrop for equity prices," Andrew Wilkinson, the New York-based chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak said in a emailed comment. "I think new highs will continue to be a driving theme as 2013 progresses."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.16% to 15,542.24. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up incrementally at 3,579.60 as heavyweight Apple advanced more than 5% to $440.61 after reporting third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.

Roger Shaffer, managing director at HighTower's Shaffer Wealth Management, said in a phone interview that the current dip in the S&P 500 appears to be a leveling off from all the volatility it has experienced related to Federal Reserve announcements and earnings season.

Facebook edged up 1.5% to $26.51 during the regular trading session. The social networking giant is expected to post after Wednesday's closing bell second-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $1.62 billion. Investors will be focused Wednesday on signs that Facebook can keep growing advertising revenue, especially on mobile devices.

Broadcom suffered the biggest drop in the S&P, tumbling 15.1% to $27.01after the company reported swinging to a net loss in the second quarter driven by the company's acquisition of NetLogic Microsystems. The stock's drop by double digits had earlier triggered the Nasdaq's circuit breaker in early trading.