Before the market opened Tuesday the government reported a surprise drop in retail sales last month. June was the weakest month for sales since February.
Loan servicing company Navient plunged 11 percent after cutting its earnings forecast for the year.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down three points at 17,974 as of 9:35 a.m.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up about a point at 2,101. The Nasdaq composite climbed 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,083.
The market is coming off three days of gains.