U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday after an interest rate hike by China raised worries about global demand and weighed on energy shares.

The S&P energy index <.GSPE> fell 0.9 percent.

Following Monday's gains, which helped the benchmark breach a resistance level at 1,313, the S&P 500 faces resistance around 1,325 with near-term support at 1,300 and 1,295.

Merger activity continued Tuesday with Kindred Healthcare Inc's planned acquisition of RehabCare Group Inc to create a big post-acute healthcare services company.

Previous rate hikes had a tremendous effect on the U.S. market, with China hitting the brakes with the United States still struggling, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois.

But the impact has diminished in the past months as confidence in the sustainability of the U.S. economic recovery has improved.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> edged up 0.23 point, or 0.00 percent, to 12,161.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> dipped 1.45 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,317.60. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> fell 3.30 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,780.69.

China's central bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points, its second increase in six weeks in a bid to tame inflation. In addition, consumer prices in Brazil surged at their fastest pace in nearly six years in January.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)