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Rally fades as fears of Washington gridlock return

FILE -In this Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, file photo, Robert Nelson II of Barclays, left, and Fady Tanios of Raven Securities work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market is closing out one of its worst weeks this year as traders worried about the possibility that a divided Washington may not act in time to avert a series of tax increases and harsh spending cuts by the beginning of next year.

An early rally on Wall Street was mostly gone by the close Friday, leaving major indexes down more than 2 percent for the week.

The Dow Jones industrial average wound up with a gain of just under four points to close at 12,815. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up two points at 1,380 and the Nasdaq rose nine to 2,904.

Falling stocks slightly outnumbered rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly above the recent average at 3.6 billion shares.