U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday, with utilities falling 1 percent, as investors analyzed strong consumer data while keeping an eye on Federal Reserve ahead of Friday's jobs report.
"After coming off of Jackson Hole, ...all the attention is now to the jobs report," said Bob Phillips, managing principal at Spectrum Management Group. "If it comes out to be a decent number, I think the market will sell off."
Economists polled by Reuters expect the U.S. economy to have added 180,000 jobs in August.
Investors continued searching for clues regarding the Fed's next move Tuesday, after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said the U.S. job market is almost at full strength. Fischer made his remarks less than a week after telling CNBC that the August jobs report will weigh on the central bank's decision on whether to raise interest rates.
"We are officially in a rate-rising market, even thought it's only been one rate rise," said Larry Rosenthal, president at Rosenthal Wealth Management Group. "People need to go back to basics and ... have lower beta portfolios." "Keep things simple."
The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent, with utilities leading nine sectors lower and financials the only advancer. The financials sector has risen more than 3 percent in August, leading all 10 sectors.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped about 50 points, with Boeing contributing the most losses. The Nasdaq composite fell about 0.2 percent. The three major indexes briefly traded higher earlier in the session.