“To the end of the year, investors tend to reposition, making sure their portfolio finishes the year where they wanted and begins the next year where they hope to be,” O’Hara said.
At 12:33 p.m. ET (1733 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 14.5 points, or 0.06 percent, at 24,166.14 and the S&P 500 was down 2.15 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,627.42.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 4.75 points, or 0.07 percent, at 6,757.47.
Home Depot slipped 1.5 percent, following the home improvement chain’s announcement of a $15 billion share repurchase plan. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow.
H&R Block rose about 7.8 percent after the tax preparation service provider reported better-than-expected revenue.
Oil prices fell after a surprise rise in U.S. inventories of refined products suggested demand may be flagging.
Schlumberger, Exxon and Chevron fell between 0.5 percent and 2.3 percent, weighing the most on the energy index.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,703 to 1,119. On the Nasdaq, 1,864 issues fell and 982 advanced.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)