U.S. stocks finished slightly lower Tuesday, as their effort to build on the prior day's strong gains ran out of steam. No top-tier economic reports were released, but mergers-and-acquisitions news helped limit losses, with FedEx Corp. among the S&P 500's biggest advancers after the shipping giant said it would buy a Dutch logistics company. The S&P 500 dipped by 4 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,076, according to preliminary FactSet data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched lower by 7 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 17,875 after briefly showing a gain of more than 100 points. Tuesday's slip indicates some cautiousness among investors ahead of first-quarter earnings season, which unoffically kicks off Wednesday with Alcoa Inc.'s report after the close. The main indexes remain up on the week after rising Monday, when they were helped by a belief among market observers that last Friday's weak jobs report could mean a slower pace of rate rises than previously expected.
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