Stocks edge lower as budget talks continue

Stocks edge lower on Wall Street as budget talks to avoid the fiscal "cliff" continue

Associated Press
Asia stocks mixed, benchmarks close to year highs
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FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. World stock markets meandered Tuesday, Dec. 4, as traders weighed a surprise drop in U.S. factory production against hopes that the U.S. will avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing slightly lower on Wall Street as budget talks continue in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14 points to close at 12,952 Tuesday. It traded in a narrow range of just 82 points.

The Standard and Poor's 500 index lost two points to 1,407. The Nasdaq composite was down five and a half points at 2,997.

Investors are waiting on developments from Washington in the budget talks, which are aimed at avoiding a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases that begin to kick in Jan. 1.

Big Lots soared after the discount retailer raised its forecast for full-year profits.

Falling stocks narrowly outnumbered rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was light at 3.2 billion shares.

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