The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.02 points, or 0.05 percent, to 25,806.63. The S&P 500 was down 3.16 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,789.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.21 points, or 0.02 percent, to 7,576.36.
Shares of Revlon dived more than 21 percent around market close, after the U.S. cosmetics giant bore a 15 percent decline in sales in the four-week period that ended on Feb. 23, according to U.S. financial services firm Jefferies Financial Group.
Yet shares of U.S. retailer Target rose nearly 4.6 percent shortly after market close, as the company posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates and a better-than-expected full-year earnings forecast for 2019.
Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded on a downbeat note, with the industrials sector down over 0.6 percent, leading the laggards among the groups.
Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, stressed on Tuesday patient observation on how the U.S. economy develops and prudent management of risks in terms of the Fed's further monetary policy.
"It may be several meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee before Fed policymakers have a clearer read on whether the risks are becoming reality - and by how much the economy will slow compared to last year," Rosengren said in remarks prepared for a chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors in Boston.
On the economic front, the U.S. federal government reported a budget surplus of nearly 9 billion U.S. dollars in January, according to the latest data released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.
The figure was below analysts' expectations of a surplus of 25 billion dollars for the month, according to Reuters.
Total outlays in January were 331.3 billion dollars, up by 6.3 percent from the year before, and total revenues were 340.0 billion dollars, down by 5.8 percent.
New single-family houses sales jumped 3.7 percent in December 2018 to an annual rate of 621,000 units, marking a seven-month high since May 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau said in its latest monthly report on Tuesday.
Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector reported continuous growth in February, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business on Tuesday.
The Non-Manufacturing Index registered 59.7 percent, which is 3 percentage points higher than the January reading of 56.7 percent.
"This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a faster rate," said ISM.