Oil companies fell less steeply.
Alternative energy companies, especially solar manufacturers, outperformed the indexes on expectations that they will continue to enjoy generous subsidies. First Solar was roughly flat and Yingli Green Energy Holding edged slightly higher.
Trading also reflected the outcome of ballot measures decided in Tuesday's election. After two states approved the recreational use of marijuana for the first time, Medical Marijuana Inc., a company too small to be listed on major exchanges, surged 17 percent.