NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stock markets remained on edge on Tuesday, with the major indices all finishing flat to lower.
'The market has shifted focus from the conclusion of the third quarter earnings reporting season to now additional factors that are likely to influence the Federal Reserve in their December deliberations," Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank told CNBC Tuesday.
"Investors are clearly focused on the path ahead rather than looking in the rear-view mirror."
The Dow Jones industrials inched up 3.07 points or 0.01 percent to 33,852.53.
The Standard and Poor's 500 edged down 6.32 points or 0.16 percent to 3,957.62.
The Nasdaq Composite eased 65.72 points or 0.59 percent to 10,983.78.
On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar had a volatile day. After first being bought up in U.S. and European markets on Monday, the greenback was sold off in Asia on Tuesday. European and U.S. markets again came to the rescue and took the dollar higher. The euro slid to 1.0327 by the New York close Tuesday. The British pound slumped to 1.1949. The Japanese yen was unchanged at 138.79. The Swiss franc crumbled to 0.9538.
The Canadian dollar was sharply lower at 1.3583. The Australian dollar was only modestly weaker at 0.6688. The New Zealand dollar softened to 0.668.
On overseas equity markets, the big movers were in Hong Kong and China. The Hang Seng surged 906.74 points or 5.24 percent to 18,204.68.
China's Shanghai Composite gained 71.20 points or 2.31 percent to 3,149.75.
The Australian All Ordinaries rose 23.40 points or 0.32 percent to 7,442.00.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 jumped 87.04 points or 0.77 percent to 11,395.35.
South Korea's Kospi Composite rose 25.12 points or 1.04 percent to 2,433.39.
The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.51 percent. The German Dax slipped 0.19 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 edged up 0.06 percent.