The Dow and S&P 500 are down at midday following a drop in energy shares, while the Nasdaq is up slightly.
Shares of Exxon Mobil <XOM.N> are down 1.2 percent, while shares of Chevron <CVX.N> are down 0.7 percent, both among the biggest drags on the Dow and S&P 500. The S&P energy index <.SPNY> is down 1.4 percent, the day's worst-performing sector as oil prices decline.
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Tech shares are rising, including Yahoo <YHOO.O>, which is up 2.6 percent and is the Nasdaq's most active name in anticipation of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's <IPO-BABA.N> initial public offering. Yahoo has a 22.4 percent stake in Alibaba and is required to sell 140 million Alibaba shares in the IPO.
"It's very light on the economic news (and) with people returning from summer vacation, it's all about the valuations so they will make these little moves like we're seeing here," said Larry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets Inc in Boston.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> is down 24.05 points, or 0.14 percent, to 17,113.31, the S&P 500 <.SPX> is losing 5.66 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,002.05 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> is adding 1.84 points, or 0.04 percent, to 4,584.74.
The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange is Daqo New Energy <DQ.N>, rising 10.61 percent, while the largest percentage decliner is Callon Petroleum <CPE.N>, down 8.90 percent.
Among the most active stocks on the NYSE are Brazil's Petrobras <PBR.N>, down 1.75 percent to $19.04, and Ford Motor Co <F.N>, down 2.39 percent to $16.73.
Besides Yahoo, most active stocks on the Nasdaq include Microsoft <MSFT.O>, up 1.1 percent to $46.44 and Apple Inc <AAPL.O>, down 0.2 percent to $98.80.
Declining issues are outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,802 to 1,085, for a 1.66-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,333 issues are rising and 1,292 falling for a 1.03-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The broad S&P 500 index is posting 41 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite is recording 64 new highs and 18 new lows.
(By Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)