A fall in the price of oil has pulled down stocks on Wall Street as investors wait for this week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve on interest rates.
The Dow Jones Index closed down 24 points to 17,623.
The Nasdaq rose three points to 5,035, while the S&P 500 fell back from a two-month high to close down four points at 2,071.
Shares in tech giant, Apple, dropped 3 per cent ahead of its quarterly results out tomorrow.
In economic data, sales of new homes fell in September to the lowest level in 10 months.
Sales dropped 11.5 per cent to 468,000 on an annual basis, according to the United States Commerce Department.
In Europe, markets were mixed with the FTSE 100 in London falling back from its two-month highs, losing 2.4 per cent or 27 points to 6,417.
Internet firm TalkTalk lost 12 per cent after a cyber attack that may have led to the theft of personal data from customers.
Resources stocks also lost ground.
In Paris, the CAC 40 lost half a per cent or 27 points to 4,897 and the DAX in Germany gained seven points to 10,801.
At home, the ASX 200 opened flat and at 11.30am (AEDT) was trading at 5344.
West Texas crude oil was at $US43.98 a barrel, while spot gold was trading at $US1,163.74 an ounce.
At about 7:00am (AEDT), the Australian dollar was trading at about 72.44 US cents.
It was buying about 65.55 euro cents, 87.66 Japanese yen, 47.20 British pence and nearly $NZ1.07.