The Dow industrials rose but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite cut their gains and ended mostly flat in a late-day sell-off on Tuesday as yet another cautious statement from the Federal Reserve on the economy offset strong November retail sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 48.74 points, or 0.43 percent, to 11,477.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> edged up 1.12 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,241.58. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 2.81 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,627.72.