The S&P 500 and Nasdaq snapped three-day losing streaks on Tuesday.
But they as well as the Dow surrendered much of their earlier gains, weighed down by the steep drop in oil prices and the possibility of a partial government shutdown.
Vespula Capital CEO Jeff Tomasulo.
SOUNDBITE: VESPULA CAPITAL CEO, JEFF TOMASULO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Just as how it shot to the upside, it can always shoot to the downside much more than you can ever imagine.
So to us, we're staying very cautious.
And we're staying short on our positions at least in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq." Boosting the S&P and Nasdaq: a rally in marquee stocks like Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
Boeing shares flew higher.
The aerospace manufacturer hiked its dividened and boosted its stock buyback program.
Energy stocks like ExxonMobil and Chevron fell.
Oil prices dropped amid reports of swelling inventories.
Johnson & Johnson rose.
The drugmaker said it plans to buy back up to $5 billion of its stock.
This follows a Reuters report Friday that the company knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained cancer-causing asbestos wiped out about $40 billion from its market value.
J&J said on Friday that "any suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the safety of talc is false." In Europe, stocks lost ground dragged down by utilities and energy shares.