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Stocks were little changed Tuesday as investors waited for developments from Washington on crucial budget talks. The negotiations between the White House and Congress are aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff," a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases that begin to kick in Jan. 1 and could cause a recession.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 12,951.78.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.41 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,407.05.
The Nasdaq composite fell 5.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,996.69.
For the week:
The Dow is down 73.80, or 0.6 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 9.13, or 0.6 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 13.55, or 0.5 percent.
For the year:
The Dow is up 734.22, or 6 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 149.45, or 11.9 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 391.54, or 15 percent.