A see-saw session on Wall Street on Monday ended little changed, with gains in big bank stocks offsetting a drag from Apple, as investors braced for the Federal Reserve meeting later this week.
The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the two-day meeting, but investors will assess Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Wednesday to see if the central bank plans to hike as soon as December.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 3.63 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 18,120.17, the S&P 500 lost 0.04 points, to 2,139.12 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.54 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 5,235.03.
Traders are betting that there is only a 12-per cent chance the Fed will raise interest rates this week, but see a 55-per cent chance the central bank will do so in December.
Investors also are eyeing the Bank of Japan's policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the first debate of the US presidential election is set for next Monday.
JPMorgan (JPM.N), Bank of America (BAC.N) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N) all posted gains, and the KBW Bank index .BKX rose 0.5 per cent.
Energy shares .SPNY slipped 0.1 per cent, pulling back as oil prices pared gains during the session.
The real estate sector .SPLRCR gained 1.0 per cent. The stocks debuted as the 11th major S&P 500 group.
Apple (AAPL.O) shares shed 1.2 per cent after registering huge gains last week. The stock was the biggest drag on the three major US indexes.
Sarepta Therapeutics' (SRPT.O) shares rocketed 73.9 per cent to $48.94 after US regulators approved its key muscle disorder drug.
About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, below the 6.7 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days.
NYSE advancing issues outnumbered decliners 2.21-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.45-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 95 new highs and 30 new lows, according to a news agency report.