Stocks were mixed on Wall Street as US investors took a pause after a rally which pushed stocks up nearly 7% in December.
Traders failed to respond to a pick-up in factory orders and a sharp rise in monthly sales from General Motors and Ford.
Stocks were mostly lower throughout the day, although the Dow Jones industrial average ended slightly higher.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 20 points, or 0.2%, to close at 11,691.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 2 points, or 0.1%, to 1,270.
The Nasdaq lost 10 points, or 0.4%, to 2,681.
Roughly two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, while trading volume was 1.1 billion shares.