The Dow Jones fell 0.12%, the Nasdaq index 0.45% and the broader S&P 500 index fell 0.16%.
The session had started in scattered order, but the clues quickly all went into the red.
"It seems like there's no momentum to buy or sell frankly," said Steve Sosnick of Interactive Brokers.
"It's a good thing that there is not more news" after two very turbulent weeks on the banking front, "but in the absence of development" or an important macroeconomic indicator, "there are not many important elements to build on," the analyst continued.
In this context, explains Steve Sosnick, the market can be guided by technical data, but the indices are currently halfway between two major thresholds (the average of the last 50 trading days and that of the last 200 sessions), without finding support on one or the other.
In the end, Wall Street was forced to move within tight margins.
These small differences are also due to the caution of investors, still marked by the financial earthquake of recent weeks.
"The problem with a financial crisis is that no one is going to come and tell you it's over," Sosnick said. Wall Street is struggling to find a direction "because there are still a lot of unknowns."
Even the American regional banks, superstars of the listing since the beginning of March, had a relatively quiet day, like First Citizens (+2.29%), in the spotlight Monday after the announcement of its takeover of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), or the Californian First Republic (-2.32%), often seen as a possible weak link.
Sought after in recent weeks, technology stocks were again the subject of profit-taking, as on Monday, mainly Alphabet (-1.65%) and Meta (-1.06%).
Under very strong pressure with the banking crisis, bond yields continued to rise. The yield on 10-year US government bonds stood at 3.56%, compared with 3.52% on Monday at the close.
On the stock market, the clothing group PVH soared (+20.02%) after publishing a net profit significantly above expectations for the last quarter of 2022, thanks in particular to the good performance of the Calvin Klein brand.
The specialist of the payment installment on the internet Affirm (-7.34%) has badly experienced the arrival on this market of the giant Apple, which launched Tuesday its service Apple Pay Later.
Pharmacy giant Walgreens rose (+2.67%) thanks to higher-than-expected quarterly sales, even though its net profit fell short of expectations due to higher costs.
The platform for booking vehicles with driver (VTC) Lyft has unscrewed (-7.60%) after the announcement of the arrival of a new CEO, David Risher, formerly of Amazon and Microsoft. He will succeed co-founder Logan Green, who will become chairman of the board.
After having clearly benefited from the setbacks of TikTok, threatened with ban in the United States, Snap (-5.79%), parent company of the social network Snapchat, and Pinterest (-4.38%) have suffered profit-taking.
Investors welcomed the prospect of a spin-off of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (+14.26%), listed in New York, which will split into six separate entities, five of which could be listed separately.
© 2023 AFP