U.S. stocks finished lower Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite leading the way down, as investors await a fresh inflation report to help gauge if the Federal Reserve's aggressive pace of rate hikes in 2022 has begun to cool the cost of living, pegged at a 41-year high in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.29% fell about 56 points, or 0.2%, ending near 32,776. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.41% shed 0.4%, booking its fourth session in a row of declines, while the Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.35% shed 1.2%, according to FactSet data. Investors have been trying to gauge whether or not the red-hot U.S. labor market and other key aspects of inflation have become entrenched in the American economy, potentially making the central bank's goal of price stability harder to achieve, despite its recent course of jumbo rate hikes. That's made Wednesday's release of the July consumer-price index a key focus for investors. The CPI update is expected to show moderating price increases from last month, helping to pull the annual rate down to 8.7% from 9.1% in June, in part as households feel a bit of relief at the gas pump.