Stocks on Wall Street edge lower

NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

US stocks edged lower with shares in car makers under pressure after disappointing sales numbers.

Shares in General Motors fell 3.4% after sales figures for March were less than analysts had been hoping for. Ford shares fell almost 2%.

But shares in electric car maker Tesla jumped more than 7% after it reported strong deliveries in the first quarter.

Overall, the Dow Industrials closed a touch lower at 20,650, the S&P 500 also edged lower to finish at 2,358.

The technology focused Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3% to close at 5,894.

"The disappointing auto sales are something people are keeping an eye on and that's meaningful news," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading.

There was some caution among investors before some important economic data released later in the week.

The latest set of jobs figures will be released on Friday, and before that there will be minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting.

In addition, President Donald Trump is holding his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday and Friday.

"The market will be anxious and will be eager to glean whatever they get from those talks," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital.