The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell on Tuesday on profit taking in financials and technology, while a drop in U.S. exports and fresh stock sales by various companies damped investor enthusiasm.

Among the heaviest weights were JPMorgan Chase & Co , off 3.7 percent to $34.50, and American Express , down 3.4 percent at $25.15. The KBW Bank Index <.BKX> dropped 5.3 percent, but is still more than double its March 9 closing level.

The Dow recovered earlier losses to trade little changed as investors snapped up energy shares and defensive stocks including healthcare.

Big-cap technology companies weighed on the Nasdaq, including Apple Inc , which fell 3.5 percent to $124.99. The Nasdaq 100 technology index <.NDXT> fell 2 percent but was still 35 percent higher than its March lows.

In economic news, data showed the U.S. trade gap widened in March for the first time in eight months, signaling weak overseas demand.

Investors also fretted over an apparent lack of incentives to drive the market higher.

Investors are looking for some type of catalyst and there isn't a visible one out there that they can invest off of right now, said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at Morgan Asset Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

The thawing of the financial markets, the end of the stress tests were clearly visible catalysts that played out well.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 13.78 points, or 0.16 percent, to 8,432.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 3.83 points, or 0.42 percent, at 905.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 19.76 points, or 1.14 percent, to 1,711.48.

The broad S&P 500 earlier fell below the key support level of 900 for the first time in a week but is up 33.3 percent from March lows in a rally spurred by optimism that the financial sector and economy are showing signs of stabilization.

Shares of Ford tumbled 11.8 percent to $5.36 a day after the automaker announced an offering of 300 million shares, while the Bank of New York Mellon said it sold $1.2 billion of common stock and its stock lost 3.1 percent to $28.65.

Investors worried that the new offerings were dilutive to existing shareholders as companies tried to raise cash to stay afloat.

Energy company shares gained as U.S. crude oil futures hit a six-month high of $60 a barrel before easing to $58.66. Exxon Mobil Corp rose 1.7 percent to $70.43.

Drug makers Merck & Co Inc and Pfizer Inc
helped cushion the Dow's losses. Pfizer gained 5.2 percent to $14.88 and Merck added 1.6 percent to $24.80.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)