U.S. stocks opened flat on Tuesday as investors aimed to head into the Independence Day holiday without making big positions in their portfolios.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 16.58 points, or 0.13 percent, to 12,854.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX shed 0.58 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,364.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC slipped 0.78 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,952.01.