Global stocks were mixed Tuesday, while bitcoin hit a new all-time high as investors assess the prospects for more stimulus from Washington and the odds of a market pullback.
Bitcoin topped $50,000 for the first time amid increased support from corporate heavyweights. The cryptocurrency, which later retreated below $50,000, has soared 75 percent since the start of the year.
Wall Street also began strongly after a three-day holiday weekend, but soon lost its mojo.
The Dow edged to a fresh record, but both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq pulled back from all-time highs.
US President Joe Biden was set to travel to Wisconsin to campaign for his $1.9 trillion fiscal relief package now that the Senate has completed the impeachment trial of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Investors are also grappling with concerns over lofty equity valuations after a series of records by major US stock indices.
"We still believe the market is ripe for a pullback," said a note from Canaccord Genuity, which warned of corrections, "followed by even more gains."
While Biden's spending package has momentum in the Democrat-controlled Congress, analysts have warned it might not be as big as the $1.9 trillion he proposed. And progress on the vaccination front could soon be slowed by supply constraints.
"Tuesday's early slowdown could be indicative of an awareness of these issues," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
"That, or natural jitters for an index that has soared since February began."
Equities have been on a tear since Biden's election on hopes for greater US stimulus as well as progress on the vaccination front raising the possibility for the return to economic normality.
Meanwhile, oil held close to 13-month highs on hopes of keen demand amid a severe cold snap in Texas.
European equities mostly eased after soaring the previous day.
London finished 0.1 percent lower and Frankfurt gave up 0.3 percent. Paris ended the day flat.
Sterling soared to $1.3952, the highest level for nearly three years, before pulling back.
Asia's leading stock markets closed with strong gains and the dollar declined against the euro and yen.
In London, the mining sector was also in sharp focus on Tuesday.
Shares in Glencore jumped as much as 4.1 percent to 293.9 pence after the Swiss giant restored its shareholder dividend despite deepening losses.
Meanwhile Anglo-Australian miner BHP jumped 2.3 percent to 2,279 pence on news of soaring profit and a bumper dividend increase by the group, before pulling back.
Key figures around 2150 GMT -New York – Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 31,522.75 (close)
New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,932.59 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 0.3 percent at 14,047.50 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 at 6,748.86 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 14,064.60 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: FLAT at 5,786.53 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,726.40 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.3 percent to 30,467.75 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.9 percent to 30,746.66 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: Closed for a holiday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3902 from $1.3903 at 2200 GMT
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2105 from $1.2129
Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.07 pence from 87.24 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 105.99 yen from 105.38 yen
Brent North Sea crude: UP less than 0.1 percent at $63.35 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.0 percent at $60.05 per barrel