U.S. stocks were mixed on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 crossing 1,900 for the first time, as disappointing April retail sales were offset by an upward revision for the prior month and an upbeat gauge of small business sentiment.
"We had soft numbers on retail but positive on small business sentiment, so they cancelled each other out," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.
"We're winding down out of earnings season, and there's not a whole lot going on, but when you're in a bull market, and we are, a lack of bad news causes us to drift higher," Frederick added.
Tuesday's tentative moves came a day after two benchmark indexes finished at all-time highs, with one strategist saying the climb into uncharted territory likely lured buyers into the market.
"We're playing catch-up, retail investors heard an all-time high was reached, and the non-participant response is to always want to get in the market after it's gone up. That could be a reason for today's modest upswing," Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital in Pittsburgh, said of initial gains that eased as the session progressed.
Whirlpool fell after Longbow Research downgraded the appliance maker to neutral from buy. Keurig Green Mountain rallied after Coca-Cola increased its stake in the company, making it the largest shareholder.