Stocks closed narrowly mixed in lackluster trading Tuesday, with the S&P breaking a 5-day winning streak, as Greece's failed debt restructuring negotiations and a handful of tepid earnings reports weighed on the market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.07 points, or 0.26 percent, to finish at 12,675.75, led by Travelers and McDonald's. United Tech led the blue-chip gainers.
The S&P 500 slipped 1.35 points, or 0.10 percent, to close at 1,314.65, failing to extend its five-day winning streak. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 2.47 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 2,786.64.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped near 19.
Among key S&P sectors, telecoms sagged, while consumer discretionary gained.
Greece weighed on the markets after euro zone officials rejected a final offerfrom the country's private bondholders.
Adding to woes, S&P will likely cut Greece's ratings to "selective default" when the debt-ridden nation finishes its debt restructuring, though the move will not necessarily destroy the credibility of the EU, according to an official.
The Federal Reserve started its two day monthly meeting with an announcement on interest rates due on Wednesday before a press conference with Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. And for the first time, the central bank will unveiling policymakers' interest rate projections in a move for more transparency.
“Unless there’s something that’s surprisingly ominous in [the Fed’s] announcement, it will be a non-event for the markets,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. “When optimism rises, people have a glass-half-full view and skate past the problems,” said McCain. “So investors don’t need reassurance from the Fed.”
“With so many indicators and public sentiment turning positive, the Fed would be more than happy to stand back and watch the trends before they become involved,” continued McCain.