U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday, stalling the S&P 500 index's string of six straight advances, as investors paused to assess recent gains.

Shares of industrial materials companies and banks, which led Monday's broad advance that took the Dow to a 13-month high, were Tuesday's laggards. Shares in the healthcare and utilities sectors were among the few gainers.

Once again (the decline) is very well contained. Investors continue to be rewarded for buying into any pullback and that's been the situation since March, said Scott Marcouiller, senior equity market strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.

There have been plenty of cases where you thought 'this is the real correction' and it hasn't happened, so you assume corrections are going to continue to be modest.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 9.22 points, or 0.09 percent, to 10,236.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 0.71 point, or 0.06 percent, to 1,092.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 4.91 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,149.15.

Shares of AK Steel Holdings dropped 2.3 percent to $17.20 while regional bank Zions Bancorp tumbled 7.7 percent to $13.25. The materials <.GSPM> and financials <.GSPF> sectors of the S&P 500 were both down 0.9 percent.

Diversified healthcare company Johnson & Johnson shares rose 0.9 percent and helped limit declines in the Dow industrials.

On Monday, the blue-chip Dow average climbed more than 200 points to close at its highest level in 13 months.

In corporate news, MBIA Inc's shares plummeted 22.3 percent to $3.73 a day after the bond insurer posted a third-quarter loss.

Among gaining shares, American International Group rose 5.4 percent to $38.14 after ratings agency Moody's Investors Service said the insurer probably will be able to repay the government's bailout and much of its preferred equity stake.

Shares of online travel agency Priceline.com
jumped 17.1 percent to $203.43 a day after the company reported earnings that beat forecasts.

(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Kenneth Barry)