A disappointing report on U.S. consumer confidence killed early stock market gains on Tuesday.
At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 31 points or 0.3 per cent, to 9758. The broader S&P 500 was down 3 points or 0.3 per cent, to 1060.
Despite the setback in consumer confidence - with a September reading that was below the August reading - consumer-related stocks were the top performers. Consumer staples were up 0.3 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks were up less than 0.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, energy stocks fell 0.9 per cent, information technology stocks fell 0.8 per cent and financials fell 0.4 per cent.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 12 points or 0.1 per cent, to 11,326.
Here, energy was also the biggest laggard, falling 0.6 per cent after the price of crude oil fell to $66.67 a barrel, down 17 cents. Financials fell 0.4 per cent and utilities fell 0.3 per cent.
Materials were the top performers, rising 0.7 per cent after strong gains by gold producers. Telecom services rose 0.6 per cent.