U.S. equity indexes closed moderately lower on Tuesday as traders mulled over various reports on ongoing trade deals ahead of the Federal Reserve policy meeting decision on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.88 points to 27,881.72 while the S&P 500 edged down 3.44 points to 3,132.52 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 5.64 points to 8,616.18.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 2.8 billion shares with 1,445 issues advancing, 95 setting new highs, and 1,515 declining, with 21 setting new lows.

Active movers were led by PG&E Corp. (PCG), Bank of America Corp. (BAC)   and Danaher Corp. (DHR).

Acting White House Chief Of Staff Mick Mulvaney told the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council summit in Washington Tuesday that tariffs of 15% on imported goods from China are “still on the table” and could be imposed at the Dec. 15 deadline, even as both sides make progress toward a trade pact.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that U.S. and Chinese trade officials were “laying the groundwork for a delay” of those tariffs.

The South China Morning Post reported it is "growing increasingly unlikely that a U.S.-China trade deal will be completed this week" though officials also said the Dec. 15 tariffs will be delayed.

On Monday night, at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington, White House adviser Jared Kushner said trade talks between the U.S. and China are “heading in a good direction.”

“It’s not helpful when investors see the word ‘tariffs’ or ‘recession’ constantly in headlines,” Crista Huff, chief analyst at Cabot Undervalued Stocks Advisor, told MarketWatch. “I’m not afraid of tariffs and it’s not hard for me to find good stocks to invest in. If a company has such a fragile balance sheet that a couple of tariffs would do them in -- it’s not a company I’d invest in anyway.”

On another trade front, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday Democrats reached an agreement with the White House on a revised U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. The deal provides for stronger labor enforcement rules and environmental protections.

The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index climbed by 2.3 points in November to 104.7, a four-month high.

A final estimate of U.S. productivity and labor costs in the third quarter showed that productivity fell 0.2%, while unit labor costs climbed 2.5%.

Peloton Interactive Inc. (PTON) plunged 5.72%  after Citron Research wrote a negative report on the exercise equipment maker. Citron forecast stock price could drop to $5 per share in 2020.

Overnight in Asia, markets finished mixed. The Hang Seng fell 0.22% while Japan’s Nikkei-225 slipped 0.09% and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.1%

European markets all finished mixed with the FTSE 100 down 0.28% while Germany's DAX fell 0.27% and France's CAC 40 gained 0.18%.

Crude oil futures gained 0.49% to $59.31 per barrel and Brent crude gained 0.08% at $64.39. Gold futures rose 0.27%.

The euro gained 0.26% to $1.1096 while the pound sterling edged up 0.31% at $1.3183.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 0.22% to 1.833% while yield on the 30-year Treasury fell 0.49% to 2.253%.