cliff could tip the economy back into recession. While a deal is expected to ultimately be reached, a drawn-out debate - like the one over 2011's debt ceiling - can erode confidence.
Best Buy Co Inc slid 14.7 percent to $12.05 after the electronics retailer agreed to extend the deadline for the company's founder to make a bid. Shares jumped as much as 19 percent on Thursday after initial reports of a bid this week from founder Richard Schulze.
Among the day's economic data, consumer prices fell in November for the first time in six months, indicating U.S.
inflation pressures were muted. A separate report showed manufacturing grew at its swiftest pace in eight months in December.
Data out of China was encouraging, as Chinese manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in 14 months in December. The news was deemed as helpful for U.S. materials companies, including U.S.
Steel, which rose 6.8 percent to $23.85.
An S&P material sector index rose 0.9 percent.
Volume was roughly 5.8 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the year-to-date average daily closing volume of 6.52 billion.
Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of about 8 to 7. On the Nasdaq, decliners barely held an edge over advancers, with 1,241 stocks falling and 1,196 shares rising.