The S&P 500 fell 0.17% to 1,894.18 in afternoon trading Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.34% to 16,657.87, while the Nasdaq was down 0.19% to 4,122.29.
The yield on a 10-year Treasury bond slipped 3.09% to 2.54%.
The price of gold rose 0.83% to $1,305.60 per ounce.
Homebuilders were generally down on Wednesday.
Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes was down about 4% to $26.70 for a market value of $833.63 million.
Standard Pacific Corp. of Irvine was off about 2% to $7.86 for a market value of $2.73 billion.
Irvine-based TRI Pointe Homes Inc. fell about 3% to $16.65 for a market value of $526.67 million.
Aliso Viejo-based drug maker Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. was up about 8% to $5.14 for a market value of $821.04 million.