Oct. 17 is deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling
Riding a four-day rally driven by hopes that U.S. lawmakers will get a debt deal done and avoid a default, stocks were mostly lower Tuesday.
Investors are waiting to see if optimism from Senate leaders that an end to the crisis is near results in the reopening of the government and an agreement before Thursday's debt-ceiling deadline.
In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was 0.1% lower, the Standard & Poor's 500 down 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite up 0.1%.
The lack of movement, however, follows a four-day rally in which the Dow gained 525 points, or 3.6%.
In earnings news, Citigroup brought in $1.02 a share, excluding certain adjustments, 2 cents less than analysts' average earnings forecast for $1.04 per share. Coca-Cola reported a profit increase in the third quarter. Johnson & Johnson topped estimates for earnings per share and revenue.
On Monday, the Dow rose 0.4% to close at 15,301. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 1,710. The Nasdaq 0.6% to 3,815.
A deal would be a bullish development for Wall Street, which has warned of market chaos if Congress allows the nation to default on its debts for the first time ever.
The market is now pricing in potential good news, says Sinh Ly, managing director of Choice Investment Management.
"We see modest upside with a deal coming together to resolve the government shutdown and a debt ceiling increase," Ly told clients in a research note before the market open.
But Ly expects "significant downside" if an agreement can't be reached.
In Asia Tuesday, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 0.3% to 14,441 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5% to 23,321.
In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.7% and Germany's DAX index added 0.6%.
In energy trading, benchmark crude for November delivery was down 28 cents at$102.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.