Wall Street fell in early trading Tuesday, as investors awaited reports on manufacturing activity, home sales and construction spending for further evidence of the economy's health.
The Institute for Supply Management is expected to report that U.S. manufacturing rises from 48.9 in July to 50.5 in August, the first expansion in 18 months. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
Meanwhile, a reading on pending U.S. home sales is forecast to rise in July for the sixth straight month, providing more evidence that the housing market is stabilizing. And construction spending is expected to be flat in July.
Sales reports from automakers will also be closely watched. Many automakers are set to post strong sales results for August thanks to the U.S. government's Cash for Clunkers program.
The Dow Jones fell 38.46 to 9,457.82. Broader indexes also went lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dipped 3.73 to 1,016.89 and the Nasdaq fell 6.84 to 2,002.22.