MarketWatch

NEW YORK: Blue-chip stocks fell Tuesday for a second session, while the Nasdaq composite index finished slightly higher on low volume as investors weighed mixed economic reports and took a cautious stance ahead of potential central-bank moves.

“We are suggesting to our investors that they view last week and this week with a cautious eye. Volumes are really low, and a lot of seasoned traders and professionals are on vacation,” said Brad Sorensen, Charles Schwab’s director of market and sector analysis.

“It’ll heat up with Jackson Hole and the Europeans meeting next week,” he added of the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this weekend and the European Central Bank meeting Sept. 6.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 21.68 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 13,102.99.

The S&P 500 index slipped 1.14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,409.30.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 3.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,077.14.

The price of oil rose as Isaac, now a full-fledged hurricane, cut production in the Gulf of Mexico, with crude futures for October delivery climbing 0.9 percent to end at $96.33 a barrel in New York.

The U.S. dollar fell against other global currencies, including the euro. Treasury prices gained, with the 10-year note yield declining to 1.64 percent.