US stocks : Dow down 0.2 pct
The S&P 500 is down nearly 2 percent for the week, adding to last week's selloff and eroding more of the market's gains for the year.
What had looked like a stellar 2012 for stocks has turned into merely an average year, and as 2012 draws to a close, investors are becoming more inclined to protect the gains they have.
The worry is the economy could contract again if no deal is reached in Washington to avoid the fiscal cliff - large, automatic budget cuts and tax hikes that begin to take effect in the new year.
Combined with the euro zone debt crisis, the uncertain outlook for corporations makes it hard to know how much a stock is worth, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates in Toledo, Ohio.
Valuation is going to be uncertain because you don't know what the growth will be, said Lancz. That is definitely not a good scenario for someone to step up to the plate and do a lot of buying.
The euro zone relapsed into its second recession since 2009 in the third quarter as the region was hurt by its debt problems.
Wal-Mart fell 3.6 percent to $68.72 and was the biggest drag on the Dow as frugal consumers hurt the company's quarterly sales.
Investors will be
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