U.S. stock indexes opened lower on Tuesday as investors paused after a recent record-breaking rally that helped the Dow notch up nine straight sessions of record close.
Investors are also awaiting earnings reports from retailers to conclude a largely positive second-quarter earnings season.
"New record highs were registered last week as the flow of earnings continued positive with major corporations offering positive guidance going forward," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.
"Nevertheless, now that the winding down of the second-quarter season has begun, the remainder of August is likely to encounter increasingly sluggish volume, with the indices staying mostly range bound."
Trading volume is also expected to be relatively tepid with summer setting in and with the U.S. Congress on vacation.
The S&P hasn`t had a move of more than 0.5 percent since July and has fallen more than 1 percent only twice this year.
Second-quarter earnings have been stronger than expected with analysts, on average, expecting S&P 500 earnings to have expanded 12 percent in the quarter, compared with 8 percent at the start of July, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 31.4 points, or 0.14 percent, at 22,087.02, the S&P 500 was down 4.19 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,476.72.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 13.81 points, or 0.22 percent, at 6,369.96.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the healthcare index`s 0.35 percent fall leading the decliners.
The consumer discretionary sector was the only gainer in early trading, powered by strong results from Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren.
Retail earnings are in focus with Amazon.com looming large over the sector. Macy`s, Kohl`s, JC Penney are expected to report results this week, with Wal-Mart, Target due next week.
Shares of Michael Kors jumped 17 percent after the retailer raised its full-year revenue outlook.
Ralph Lauren was up 10.97 percent after the luxury apparel retailer`s quarterly results beat expectations.
Dean Foods slumped 18.97 percent after the largest U.S. dairy processor`s quarterly results came in below estimates.
Marriott International was down 3.32 percent as the world`s largest hotel chain narrowed its forecast for the revenue it expects to earn this year from its rooms in North America.
Avis Budget Group fell 5.84 percent as the car rental company`s second-quarter profit missed expectations and the company cut its full-year profit view.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,488 to 998. On the Nasdaq, 1,367 issues fell and 881 advanced.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)