Markets Right Now: Stocks open slightly lower on Wall Street

In 3.38pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 0.7 percent.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Energy companies were also lower as the price of crude oil fell.

Elsewhere, banks also found a bid after New York Fed chief William Dudley was quoted as having said at a roundtable discussion that the U.S. central bank should continue hiking rates.

Oil prices are "most definitely" heading to $40 a barrel and will likely dip into the upper $30s, John Kilduff, founding partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital, told CNBC's "Squawk Box". Drillers have gotten much more efficient at pulling oil out of the ground, which has helped supplies to balloon and weigh on prices.

CURRENCIES: The British pound fell to $1.2618 from $1.2729 after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney cooled market expectations that the bank may soon raise interest rates.

While another record close on Wall Street helped underpin investor sentiment, falling oil prices and uncertainty ahead of a decision by US index provider MSCI on whether to include China A-shares in its Emerging Market Index served to keep the underlying mood somewhat cautious.

"Earnings are starting to re-accelerate", he said.

While the S&P is roughly unchanged over the last few weeks, leadership continues to shift towards a more cyclical profile that reminds us of late-2016.

Natural gas sank 14 cents, or 4.5%, to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) may also come under pressure after forecasting higher operating costs as a percentage of sales in the second quarter.

ANALYST TAKE: "Rising inflation is clearly a concern among certain policy makers, having risen to 2.9 percent last month which is well above the central banks 2 percent target, but Carney was keen to stress that other factors have to be considered", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Parexel jumped $3.33, or 4 percent, to $87.25. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.17%, from 2.15%. The two-year yield climbed to 1.34 percent from 1.31 percent, and the 30-year yield ticked up to 2.78 from 2.77 percent. The euro fell to $1.1156 from $1.1194. It jumped 2.9 percent for its second-best day of the year so far. It fell 54 cents to $44.43 per barrel overnight.

Nasdaq's biotechnology index .NBI rose 2.5 percent in its biggest one-day gain since February while the S&P's healthcare index .SPXHC had a record-high close.

  • Zachary Reyes