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Stocks tugged off 5-day rally by currency-trading scandal

Traders on the floor of the New York

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange resume trading day activities after pausing for a moment of silence in remembrance of Veterans Day on Wall Street on Nov. 11, 2014. Credit: EPA / Andew Gombert

Big banks and a foreign-currency trading scandal weighed on the stock market Wednesday, tugging major indexes back from record highs.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 1.43 points to 2,038.25. The Dow lost 2.70 points to 17,612.20, and the Nasdaq composite rose 14.58 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,675.13. The day before, the S&P 500 closed at a record high for the fifth straight day.

Regulators from the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom fined five major banks a total of $3.4 billion for conspiring to manipulate foreign-currency trading. The news drove down bank stocks in the United States and Europe. JPMorgan Chase fell more than 1 percent, the biggest drop in the Dow Jones industrial average.

"The fines from the watchdogs took some of the wind out of the market," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital Management. But a slight dip following five days of record highs "is actually healthy," he said. "That's the sign of a good bull market. Going straight up every day would be reckless."

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