(CNBC) — U.S. equities closed lower on Tuesday as Wall Street digested better than expected housing data and mixed earnings results from two Dow components while eyeing the the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes. (Tweet This)

“I think the market is getting some mixed messages here,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, adding that while housing has improved, consumer spending has shifted in the U.S.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both flirted with gains during the session, but failed to hold their ground in positive territory. The Nasdaq Composite was the greatest laggard as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF and shares of Apple both traded down.

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