The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Tuesday to snap a six-session winning streak as a sharp decline in Walmart weighed heavily, but gains in Amazon and chip stocks helped the Nasdaq hold near the unchanged mark.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,726.
US Treasuries declined amid a flood of government debt auctions this week, sending the yield on the 10-year note three basis points higher to 2.90 percent, while the 2-year yield also added three basis points to 2.22 percent, the highest since 2008, according to Bloomberg.
"The big thing is the miss by Walmart, driven largely by its online business, and that's having investors scratching their heads", Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst with Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, told Reuters.
NXP Semiconductor jumped 6 percent after Qualcomm raised its offer for the company to $127.50 a share, or $43.22 billion, from $110 a share. SPLRCT gained 0.6 as the best performing of the 11 major S&P sectors, buoyed by a gain of more than 2 percent in the semiconductor sector . SOX .
The S&P technology index .
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"The market views rising interest rates as potentially getting a little bit ahead of themselves".
Wall Street's fear gauge, the CBOE volatility index, also edged up to 20.9, slightly above Friday's close of 19.46, but way off the 50 points it hit during the peak of the sell-off.
Home Depot rose almost 1.6 per cent after the largest US home improvement chain's quarterly profit beat market estimates for the sixth straight quarter.
Walmart plunged 10 percent Tuesday after reporting weak online sales and disappointing earnings.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,617 to 980.
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Meanwhile, Canada's main stock index see-sawed on Tuesday, with strength in the heavyweight energy sector offseting weakness among mining stocks.
The S&P technology index (.SPLRCT) gained 0.3 as the sole major S&P sector on the plus side, buoyed by a gain of almost 2 percent in the semiconductor sector (.SOX). The yield has been rising in recent months and traded as low as 2.04 percent in September.
Gold futures fell 1.2 per cent to US$1,337.2 an ounce.
Home Depot rose 1.7 percent after the largest US home improvement chain's quarterly profit beat market estimates in an improving housing market.
The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 86 new highs and 30 new lows.
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