U.S. stocks closed lower Thursday, with utilities and consumer staples sectors leading the day while industrials and health care lagged.
In corporate news, the U.S. charged Huawei, a Chinese multinational technology company, with racketeering.
In economic news, the Labor Department reported the consumer price index rose slightly in January.
U.S. Treasuries rose as yields fell.
Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was moderate, with 856 million shares traded. Decliners narrowly outnumbered advancers.
Gold rose $7.40 to $1,579, and crude oil prices rose 42 cents to $51.59 a barrel.
The 30-year Treasury yield closed lower at 2.06 percent, and the 10-year Treasury yield finished lower at 1.61 percent.