US stocks : Dow flat, S&P up 0.1 pct
Volume was light, with the U.S. bond market and government offices closed for the Veterans Day holiday. Trading was also affected by problems on the NYSE Euronext. The Big Board suspended trading in more than 200 stocks due to problems with a trade-matching engine, though the stocks in question were still active on other exchanges.
Major averages vacillated between modest gains and losses throughout the session.
Worry about the fiscal cliff - a series of budget cuts and tax hikes that will start to go into effect in the new year - has investors cautious because of the potential for harm to U.S. economic growth.
Barclays cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 1,325 from 1,395, saying there is little basis to believe a grand compromise is in the offing.
Though most consider it unlikely that some deal will not be reached, analysts fear going over the cliff could push the economy back into recession. There are also concerns that a protracted debate could hurt business and investment sentiment.
The concern is there may be an impasse every bit as bad as what we had in August 2011, Brian Gendreau, market strategist with Cetera Financial Group in Gainesville, Florida, said, referring to the last-minute agreement policymakers reached on raising the U.S. debt ceiling.
Last year's political logjam bruised consumer attitudes and led to
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