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Stocks little changed; Dow scores another record close

U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 halting its record-smashing run, as investors considered valuations.

Tyson Foods slid after the poultry producer drew a downgrade to underperform from neutral by Credit Suisse; Allergan shares dropped after the Botox maker spurned a revised, unsolicited offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. Apple fluctuated after Irish state broadcaster RTE reported the European Commission would launch a formal probe on Wednesday into the iPhone maker's tax arrangements in Ireland.

"It's a catalyst-light day, but we've been up 11 out of the last 13 days," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"New records are spectacular, but more important is what multiple are stocks trading at," said Hogan, who pointed out that while the Dow has closed at a record high nine times in 2014, it's up a less-dramatic 2.1 percent for the year.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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After a 45-point decline, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.82 points to 16,945.92, its fourth consecutive record close.

The S&P 500 fell roughly half a point to 1,950.80, tallying its first session in five where it did not end at a record high, with utilities pacing declines and health care the best performing among its 10 major industry groups.

The Nasdaq rose 1.75 points to 4,338.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, fell 1.4 percent to 10.99, after last week's drop of nearly 6 percent to 10.73, its lowest in more than seven years.

For every two shares rising, less than three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 557 million shares traded. Composite volume approached 2.7 billion.

Tuesday data had wholesale inventories up 1.1 percent in April after a 1.1 percent gain in March.

Another report had the number of job openings at 4.0 million in April, versus 4.0 million reported the prior month.

Read MoreWholesale inventories rise, and so do job openings

A third release had small businesses expressing more optimism about the U.S. economy in May, with the National Federation of Independent Business reporting its Optimism Index at its highest since September 2007.

Still, the NFIB cautioned the reading remained well below those that usually come with economic expansion.

The 10-year Treasury yield used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans rose 3 basis points to 2.636 percent.

Read MoreStocks versus bonds-One market could get pounded

The U.S. dollar gained against other currencies, and dollar-denominated commodities were mixed; crude futures for July delivery turned lower, off 6 cents to $104.35 a barrel, and gold futures for August delivery up $6.20, or 0.5 percent, at $1,260.10 an ounce.

On Monday, stocks rose for a fourth session.

—By CNBC's Kate Gibson

Coming Up This Week:

Wednesday: 10-year Treasury note auction, 1 p.m. Eastern

Thursday: Weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m. Eastern; retail sales, 8:30 a.m. Eastern; import and export prices, 8:30 a.m. Eastern; business inventories, 10 a.m. Eastern; 30-year Treasury bond auction, 1 p.m. Eastern.

Friday: Producer price index, 8:30 a.m. Eastern; consumer sentiment, 9:45 a.m. Eastern.

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