Shares of banks and other financial institutions were flat as a surge in the stock market stalled.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched the psychologically significant 40000 level for the first time ever before retreating to finish lower. "When you start seeing headlines about Dow 40,000, maybe we're getting a bit close to a short-term top," said one long-only Irish institutional investor, who didn't wish to be named.

The long winning streak, which has seen the Dow gain in eight of the last 10 sessions, is another sign of markets being overextended, the investor said. "That's one of your key indicators to say there could be a fall, and who knows, could be a 2% fall, it could be a 1%, or it could be a 10% fall."

Insurance giant American International Group struck a deal to sell a 20% stake in its majority-owned life-and-retirement arm Corebridge Financial to Japan's Nippon Life Insurance for nearly $3.84 billion.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-16-24 1751ET