The Dow and S&P 500 were slightly lower on Tuesday, slipping from 14-month highs, as a jump in producer prices ignited fears of inflationary pressures.
Ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate meeting, investors were concerned that a 1.8 percent surge in the November producer price index could prompt the Fed to revise its low-interest-rate policy.
Cheap money has been one of the main drivers of the stock market rally as it fueled risk appetite.
The numbers were a bit higher than expected, and investors are concerned a bit, but the market is not moving too much on it because there is a low possibility that these little tickles of inflation would lead to changes in rates, said Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services in Sacramento, California.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 20.48 points, or 0.20 percent, at 10,480.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 2.36 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,111.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 0.50 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,212.60.
The Fed will kick off a two-day policy-setting meeting later Tuesday, with a statement on the economy expected on Wednesday.
Investors are keen to see data on the consumer price index for November, also due Wednesday, for a more detailed picture of inflation. Analysts expect a reading of 0.4 percent increase, compared with a 0.3 percent rise in October.
Best Buy Co
Wells Fargo & Co
On the Nasdaq, News Corp
The U.S. dollar strengthened against the euro, and the dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.9 percent to its highest level since early October.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)