Stocks finished Monday mostly lower despite a stronger-than-expected manufactured durable goods report and a nearly 2 percent lift from Caterpillar earnings.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 14.05 points (0.10 percent) to 13,881.93.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 2.78 points (0.18 percent) to 1,500.18.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 4.59 (0.15 percent) to 3,154.30, boosted by Apple.
Orders for manufactured durable goods rose to $230.7 billion, up 4.6 percent from November, the Commerce Department said. Analysts had expected a rise of just 1.6 percent.
But December pending home sales, which were projected to be flat, instead fell by 4.3 percent.
Monday's lackluster equity action came on the heels of rallies that have lifted stock indices to multi-year highs.
Slumping technology company Apple reversed recent losses and picked up 2.3 percent, replacing ExxonMobil as the world's largest company by market capitalization. ExxonMobil fell 0.7 percent.
Yahoo!, which reported stronger-than-expected earnings after the market closed, fell 0.3 percent, but jumped 4.5 percent in after-hours trading.
Caterpillar gained 2 percent after posting a big year-on-year drop in quarterly profit but suggesting business could pick up in the second half of 2013.
Energy company Hess surged 6.1 percent after it announced it was selling refining and terminal operations in the United States and placing more focus on exploration and production.
Research in Motion, which will launch its newest BlackBerry smartphone this week, gave up 7.8 percent.
Industrial coatings maker PPG lost 2.0 percent after the closing of the share-exchange period related to the merger of its commodity chemicals business with Georgia Gulf Corp, to become the PPG spinoff Axiall. Georgia Gulf gained 8.6 percent.
Menswear retailer Jos. A. Bank dived 15.1 percent after warning that its fiscal 2012 profit was expected to be 20 percent lower than the prior year, citing lower sales due to unseasonably warm winter weather.
Animal goods retailer PetSmart lost 9.1 percent following a downgrade by Nomura Securities.
Bond prices continued to fall. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.97 percent from 1.95 percent late Friday, while the yield on the 30-year bond increased to 3.15 percent from 3.13 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.