Stocks finished mixed in choppy, low-volume trading Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P breaking a five-day winning streak, as investors largely shrugged off Moody's downgrade of Portugal's rating into junk territory and ahead of some key employment news expected later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.90 points, or 0.10 percent, to finish at 12569.87, led by HP and JPMorgan .
The S&P 500 slipped 1.79 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,337.88.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 9.74 points, or 0.35 percent, to end at 2,825.77.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, gained above 16.
Among key S&P sectors, financials and industrials led the laggards, while energy gained.
Volume was light with the consolidated tape of the NYSE at 3.26 billion shares, while 906 million shares changed hands on the floor. Volume is expected to remain thin amid shortened trading week, which could increase volatility.
“It seems like stocks are taking a break today,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist with Schaeffer's Investment Research. “But it’s a minor victory for the bulls that we’re not giving up any of the gains last week and we’re holding tough.”
While stocks are likely to remain “choppy for the summer,” Detrick expects to see an uptrend by year-end with the S&P finishing around 1,550 driven by earnings and economic reports.
“Historically, third and fourth quarters are pretty strong and we think the overall uptrend is still in place.”
Moody's cut Portugal's credit rating by four levels, two notches into junk territory, saying there is great risk the country will need a second round of financing before it can return to capital markets. The euro extended losses against the dollarfollowing the news.