Gains by industrial companies lifted the Dow on Wednesday, while weakness among technology shares pushed the Nasdaq decisively lower.
Analysts said the countervailing movements were evidence of a rotation away from the tech-dominated winners from the earliest part of 2023, and towards manufacturing companies like Caterpillar and Honeywell.
"Money is flowing from one sector to another sector," said Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments. This dynamic "keeps the bull market alive and well," he added.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.3 percent at 33,665.
The broad-based S&P 500 declined 0.4 percent to 4,268, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.3 percent to 13,105.
After a stretch in which markets were dominated by worries of a potential debt default followed by relief at a fiscal agreement, this week's news flow has been much slower.
"Stocks continue treading water near recent nine-month highs ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting," said a note from Charles Schwab. "It's a quiet period with little economic data or earnings to propel things in any given direction."
Among individual companies, shares of Warner Bros. Discovery gained 8.4 percent as it announced that embattled CNN news chief Chris Licht had stepped down.
Amazon fell 4.3 percent following a Bernstein report criticising the tech giant. Bernstein analyst Mark Shmulik told CNBC the company should "refocus" capital on the best potential projects for its scale.
Campbell Soup shares dropped 8.9 percent as it reported slightly better profits than expected.
However, analysts at Briefing.com said the results were less impressive than in other recent quarters, when sales were boosted by the trend of people eating more at home. (AFP)