NEW YORK CITY (AFP) - US stocks fell modestly on Tuesday, ending the Dow's four-day streak of fresh records, as the Justice Department announced a record US$13 billion (S$16 billion) settlement over mortgage securities with JPMorgan Chase.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 8.99 points (0.06 per cent) to 15,967.03.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 3.66 (0.20 per cent) to 1,787.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 17.52 (0.44 per cent) at 3,931.55.
Stocks traded in a narrow range amid little concrete news and some profit taking after the strong runup since mid-October.
"We had a few big retailers report earnings this morning, and the results were mixed," said Joe Bell of Schaeffer's Investment Research.
JPMorgan's shares gained 0.7 per cent to US$56.13 after the Justice Department deal, which resolves most federal and state complaints over its sales of mislabeled mortgage-backed securities ahead of the financial crisis.
Authorities said the bank and employees could still face criminal charges, however.
Best Buy plummeted 11.0 per cent after the electronics retailer warned that margins could be pinched in the battle for consumer dollars in the coming holiday shopping season.
Builder and home supply chain Home Depot gained 0.9 per cent as the company raised its 2013 sales outlook driven by the continued recovery of the US housing sector.
United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings surged 3.9 per cent on fresh pledges to investors to cut costs and raise revenues in a program to double United Airlines profits by 2017.
Wal-Mart shares gained a bare 0.04 per cent one day after the US National Labor Relations Board ruled the world's largest retailer had violated employees' rights by threatening and firing workers who participated in strikes and other protests.
The ruling could give pro-union activists at the company more space to organize and advocate for higher wages and benefits.
Electric car maker Tesla added 3.7 per cent after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would investigate recent fires in Tesla cars at the company's request.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.71 per cent from 2.68 per cent Monday, while the 30-year rose to 3.80 per cent from 3.77 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.