Stocks fluctuated Wednesday and closed with losses, a day after the biggest equities sell-off in more than two months.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 27.6 points, about 0.2 percent, to close at 17,635.4. The Standard & Poor's 500, gave up nearly 4 points, about 0.2 percent, to 2,040.2. The Nasdaq composite dropped nearly 10 points, about 0.2 percent, to nearly 4,850.

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Tyson Foods Inc. and Pilgrim's Pride Corp. fell more than 4.5 percent on reports of suspected bird flu in Arkansas.

"The mood has shifted toward a wait-and-see environment as investors await greater clarity on earnings and possible Fed action," said Terry Sandven, who helps oversee $126 billion as chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.