Stocks ended the week more or less where they started it. Investors were watching closely while lawmakers in Washington worked at thrashing out a budget agreement.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 3.76 points to close at 13,025.58. That's a gain of a total of 16 points for the week, one of the Dow's smallest moves this year.
Along the way, the market had several sharp turns both up and down after key figures in the talks, such as House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama, offered contrasting views about how well the talks were going.
The Standard & Poor's index edged up 0.02 percent to 1,416.18. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.06 percent to 3,010.24.
The main driver for markets this week has been the talks between the White House and Congress over the "fiscal cliff," a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start Jan. 1 unless an agreement is reached to cut the budget deficit. Economists say that those measures could push the U.S. economy back into a recession.
For the year, the Dow is up 808.02, or 6.6 percent; the S&P 500 is up 158.58, or 12.6 percent; and the Nasdaq is up 405.09, or 15.6 percent. -- AP