Stocks were nearly flat on Tuesday as investors hunted for bargains after Monday's steep sell-off, offsetting a drop in industrial shares as Boeing announced another delay in its 787 Dreamliner flight.

Shares that led the market down on Monday, which was the S&P 500's worst day in two months, were among the positive influences, including banks, energy and materials.

JPMorgan Chase shares rose 2.2 percent to $33.58 after falling 6.1 percent on Monday, while Bank of America gained 2 percent to $12.18 a day after sliding 9.7 percent. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp were up 0.4 percent at $69.08 after losing 3.1 percent on Monday.

The market's really trying to stabilize after a pretty sharp decline yesterday, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist of RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut. He said if the market is able to at least avoid further losses after Monday's drop, that would be seen as a positive.

The broad S&P 500 index dropped back into negative territory for the year on Monday. Although the index is up nearly 32 percent from a 12-and-a-half-year low hit in March, it had been up as much as 40 percent.

On the downside was Boeing Co . The plane maker was the Dow's biggest drag after it said the inaugural flight of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner will be postponed so it can reinforce a section of the aircraft.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 17.54 points, or 0.21 percent, at 8,321.47. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 1.60 points, or 0.18 percent, at 894.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 0.20 of a point, or 0.01 percent at 1,765.99.

Boeing's stock plunged 7.3 percent to $43.49, and at one point had its worst percentage drop in almost eight years.

The S&P industrial sector <.GSPI> was down 0.6 percent.

On the economic front, data showing sales of used homes rose in May at a pace that was below expectations initially caused stocks to pare gains. But the data also showed it was the first time the numbers rose in two consecutive months since September 2005.

Shares of home builders advanced, with DR Horton , up 1.1 percent at $9.28 and KB Home up 2.6 percent at $13.95, and the Dow Jones home construction index <.DJUSHB> rose 0.6 percent.

(Editing by Jan Paschal)