A day before the US central bank sets interest rates, US stocks were mixed as consumer confidence slid to a five- year low, property values continued to slump and a drop in oil and metal prices pushed commodity producers lower, the dpa reported.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc and Newmont Mining Co declined as gold and copper retreated, while homebuilders dropped for the first time in four days on a report that housing prices plunged by the most on record.
Merck & Co, the third-biggest US drugmaker, tumbled the most in a month after failing to win approval for a cholesterol pill. Apple Inc and Google Inc advanced, leading the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index to its fourth gain in five days.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39.81 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 12,831.94. The broader Standard & Poor 500 Index was down 5.43 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1,390.94. The Nasdaq rose 1.7 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,426.1.
The dollar rose against the euro to 64.23 euro cents from 63.86 euro cents on Monday, and fell to 104.04 yen from 104.08 yen.
Gold fell 18.70 dollars to 876.80 dollars per fine ounce.