Wall Street closed in disarray Wednesday with the technology sector driving a strong rebound for the Nasdaq but the Dow Jones index seeing profit-taking after a boost related to enthusiasm over a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Dow Jones lost 0.08 percent to 29,397.63 points while the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 2.01 percent to 11,786.43 after two sessions of declines.
The broader S&P 500 gained 0.77 percent to 3,572.66 points.
The session was calmer than usual on Wednesday due to the Veterans Day holiday in the United States. The bond market remained closed.
"US equities are higher in afternoon action, with Monday's vaccine data from Pfizer and BioNTech that showed more than 90 percent efficacy continuing to boost sentiment," Schwab analysts said.
"Information technology stocks that took the brunt of the selling pressure over the past couple of sessions amid a move into cyclically-natured and value issues are rebounding."
The Dow Jones had opened sharply and briefly surpassed its record level from February before falling on profit-taking.
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, said profit-taking was occurring in the industrial and transportation sectors while tech stocks were rallying "perhaps after an intermediate oversold condition."
After Pfizer's announcement on the effectiveness of its vaccine candidate, investors on Monday and Tuesday rushed toward stocks in the traditional economy, such as air transport and hotels, on hopes of a coming return to normal life.
But on Wednesday, according to Briefing analysts, investors' interests seemed to flip back to a focus on growth areas such as technology.
Sam Stovall of CFRA Research said "market volatility is expected to remain high" notably because of lingering suspense over Donald Trump's refusal to concede the US presidential election and spikes in Covid-19 cases.
Joe Biden has been projected the winner of the November 3 election, but Trump has alleged without evidence widespread electoral fraud and filed legal challenges.
Wednesday's tech gains were powered by big-name stocks including Amazon (+3.37 percent), Microsoft (+2.63 percent) and PayPal (+4.90 percent).
Videoconferencing app Zoom emerged from its recent descent with a gain of 9.93 percent.
After having profited from its vaccine announcement, Pfizer shares fell slightly to $38.52 (-0.41 percent).
The market learned that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla had sold $5.6 million in shares on the day of the vaccine announcement.
A spokesman said the sale had been planned in advance.