NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks edged down slightly after fluctuating Tuesday, as investors followed the latest developments in Ukraine and Iraq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9.44 points, or 0.06 percent, to 16,560.54. The S&P 500 lost 3.17 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,933.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 12.08 points, or 0.27 percent, to 4,389.25.
With no key economic data coming out Tuesday and the second- quarter earnings season winding down, geopolitical factors seemed to be dominating Wall Street.
In the past two trading days, the stock market rebounded as the Ukraine crisis showed signs of abating.
However, geopolitical uncertainties remained, making investors hesitant to keep buying a dip before U.S. retail sales for July come out Wednesday.
Iraqi President Fuad Masoum on Monday designated Haidar al- Abadi to be the new prime minister and form the next government, a decision lauded by the United Nations and Washington but resisted by the outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who rose to power eight years ago.
On corporate earnings side, King Digital Entertainment, the developer of the popular video game Candy Crush Saga, saw its shares plunge some 21 percent in after-hours trade Tuesday, after the company reported lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue and cut its gross booking estimate of 2014.
So far, 91 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported second-quarter earnings, among which 67.6 percent have beaten analyst expectations on profit, and 62.5 percent have surpassed market consensus on revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
U.S. corporations had fared better than expected in the second quarter in general, helping propel the U.S. equity market to uncharted territory before the recent correction.
On the economic front, the U.S. small business optimism ticked up slightly in July, with the Small Business Optimism Index technically rising 0.7 point to a reading of 95.7, reported the National Federation of Independent Business Tuesday morning.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as Wall Street's fear gauge, fell 0.70 percent to end at 14.13.
In other markets, the U.S. dollar traded mixed against most major currencies while strengthening versus the euro after data showed German investors' confidence weakened.
ZEW Center for European Economic Research reported its overall index of investor and analyst expectations in Germany fell to 8.6 in August from 27.1 in July, the lowest level since 2012.
In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3368 dollars from 1.3383 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 102.23 Japanese yen, higher than 102.18 yen of the previous session.
Crude price retreated as the International Energy Agency lowered its growth forecast for global oil demand in 2014.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery moved down 71 cents to settle at 97.37 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery lost 1.66 dollars to close at 103.02 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was little changed despite geopolitical concerns. The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 10 cents, or 0.01 percent, to settle at 1,310.6 dollars per ounce.