The Nasdaq fell on Wednesday, weighed down by a drop in Apple on fears of further regulation, while a rise in energy stocks and a report of fresh U.S.-China trade talks helped keep the S&P afloat and boost Dow Industrials.
Six major web and internet service companies, including Apple, are to detail their consumer data privacy practices to a U.S. Senate panel on Sept. 26, raising the specter of the possibility of stricter regulation.
Apple was down 1 percent, weighing the most on the three major indexes. The stock was trading higher premarket, ahead of an event at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) where the company is expected to launch new iPhone models as well as upgrades of other products.
Twitter, Alphabet and Amazon.com , among the six companies to testify, were trading between flat and down 4.2 percent.
Facebook, not among the companies to testify, was down 2 percent. The S&P technology sector fell 0.64 percent.
"Headlines like the Senate hearing does add this element of regulatory risk to Apple and Amazon which is what could be driving them lower right now," said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
The markets got a boost from a Wall Street Journal report that said Washington has proposed a new round of trade talks with Beijing before the Trump administration implements additional tariffs on Chinese imports.
Also helping was the energy sector, which jumped 0.70 percent as Brent crude price pushed above $80 a barrel due to growing concerns over global oil supply.
At 12:41 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 91.95 points, or 0.35 percent, at 26,063.01, the S&P 500 was down 0.60 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,887.29 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 38.20 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,934.28.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor index was down 1.8 percent after Goldman Sachs became the latest brokerage to warn of lower prices for memory chips due to an oversupply of DRAM and NAND chips.
Micron slid 5 percent, the most on the S&P. Chip equipment makers were hit the hardest, falling in a range of Applied Materials' 2 percent drop and Entegris's 4.4 percent decline.
The consumer staples sector rose 1.20 percent as Altria jumped 7.2 percent and Philip Morris International gained 4 percent.
Traders said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes was less harsh than feared.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.41-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 29 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 61 new highs and 76 new lows.