US markets flat as retailers slip

NYSE traders Image copyright EPA

(Close): Wall Street closed flat on Tuesday, but some retail stocks fell sharply after Gap reported disappointing sales.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.7 points to 18,533 points.

The broader-based S&P 500 climbed 0.8 points to 2,181.7, while the Nasdaq was up 12.3 points to 5,225.4.

Gap slid more than 6% after the clothing retailer reported weak sales at its Banana Republic chain.

Like-for-like sales at Banana fell 9%, compared with a 3% drop at Gap stores and flat sales at Old Navy.

Other major retailers also fell, with Macy's down 2.8%.

Homeware retailer Williams-Sonoma fell 2% and electronics chain Best Buy was down 1.7%.

Luxury handbag maker Michael Kors slipped 0.3% ahead of its results on Wednesday.

Shares in Disney edged up 0.9% ahead of its third-quarter results, which were released after markets closed.