New York - US stocks edged lower on Tuesday on profit-taking after the S&P 500 index climbed to a record in the prior session and on caution the Federal Reserve may end its stimulus efforts sooner than expected.
General Motors Co was in the spotlight after the automaker said its chief executive Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by Mary Barra, the company's global product development chief.
The stock was down 0.3 percent at $40.76.
A number of US policymakers suggested on Monday the US central bank may be closer than previously thought to trimming its $85 billion a month in bond purchases, a policy that stocks' rally.
“The Dow (at) 16,000 and the S&P 500 (at) 1,800 are two key levels immediately below current prices,” said Bryan Sapp, senior trading analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinatti, Ohio.
“I would keep a close eye on those two round-number levels going forward, as they've been key support and resistance zones over the past few weeks.”
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18.55 points or 0.12 percent, to 16,006.98, the S&P 500 lost 1.81 points or 0.1 percent, to 1,806.56 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.417 points or 0.16 percent, to 4,062.334.
A budget deal could emerge in Congress on Tuesday aimed at avoiding a US government shutdown on January 15 and relieving federal agencies of some indiscriminate spending cuts, congressional aides said on Monday.
High-end yoga-wear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc named Laurent Potdevin as its chief executive and said founder Chip Wilson will step down as non-executive chairman.
The stock, which was trading higher before the market opened, fell 1.5 percent to $69.25.
Twitter shares hit an all-time high of $51.66 shortly after the open on Tuesday, after soaring more than 9 percent on Monday.
Shares of Rambus Inc jumped nearly 18 percent to $10.02 after settling a patent dispute with Micron Technology .
Pressuring global equities, data showed China's industrial output rose in November slightly below market expectations, while retail sales were up stronger than expected.
US regulators vote to adopt the controversial Volcker rule to ban proprietary trading by banks and limit their investments in hedge funds.
Early on Tuesday, Bart Chilton, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said he expected the agency to adopt the rule behind closed doors on Tuesday despite a government shutdown in Washington because of a snowstorm. - Reuters