The US stocks closed flat in another lackluster session on Tuesday after mixed economic data.
When the market closed, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 21.68 points, or 0.17 percent, to 13,102.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 edged down 1.14 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,409.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 3.95 points, or 0.13 percent, to 3,077.14.
The CBOE Volatility Index, generally considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed above 16.
As for shares, telecom stocks led the laggards, while the energy closed with a small gain.
On economic front, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index showed that U.S. home prices jumped nearly 7 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter. Also, the 20 cities home price index rose in June from May, marking the second monthly consecutive gains.
The increase in home prices partly reflected the influence of seasonal buying as warm weather stimulated consumers' buying will.
However, the U.S. consumer confidence dropped in August to the lowest level since November, underlining growing pessimism among American consumers, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The board said the consumer confidence index declines to 60.6 in August from July's 65.4. The Expectations Index decreased to 70.5 from 78.4. The Present Situation Index, however, was virtually unchanged, at 45.8 versus 45.9 a month ago.
"The Consumer Confidence Index is now at its lowest level since late last year. A more pessimistic outlook was the primary reason for this month's decline in confidence," said Lynn Franco, director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
Also adding to the concerns, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi unexpectedly announced that he would not be heading to the Kansas City Fed's event at Jackson Hole.
Some investors felt disappointed about Jackson Hole as they also did not expect the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke make any significant hints about more stimulus policy.
As for other markets, the U.S. dollar fell against major currencies in late New York trading on Tuesday also because of mixed economic data. The dollar index lost 0.310 to 81.381.
Crude prices rose on Tuesday as Hurricane Isaac threatened oil output in the Gulf of Mexico.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery gained 86 cents, or 0. 90 percent, to settle at 96.33 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for October delivery added 32 cents, or 0.29 percent to close at 112.58 dollars a barrel.