Stocks lower as traders cautious over trade

Stocks fell on Tuesday, as traders returned to work from the long weekend, turning their attention to NAFTA negotiations and a busy economic data calendar.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 12.34 points, or 0.05 percent, to 25,952.48. The S&P 500 was down 4.8 points, closing at 2,896.72. The Nasdaq Composite edged 18.29 points lower, or 0.23 percent, to 8,091.25.

While the trading week will be a day shorter, it is crammed full of potential market driving events and economic data including the big event: the monthly jobs report, which will be released on Friday.

On Tuesday, automakers’ shares saw some movement, as most major manufacturers reported higher U.S. sales in August.

Economic data released Tuesday included the Institute of Supply Management's reading on August manufacturing activity, which came in at 61.3, above the 57.7 economists were expecting. This is the highest reading for the index since May 2004. July construction spending missed forecasts, rising by 0.1% versus forecasts for a 0.5% increase.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 38918.58 +83.72 +0.22%
SP500 S&P 500 5489.23 +2.20 +0.04%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 17848.891475 -13.34 -0.07%

Traders may be cautious in what could be a busy week for trade. On Wednesday, Canada and the U.S. are scheduled to resume trade talks after failing to come to an agreement last week. Meanwhile, the U.S. will apply additional duties on Chinese goods on Thursday. The latest round were initially proposed at 10 percent, but President Trump directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider raising them to 25 percent in response to Chinese retaliation.

Commodities were mixed

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.