Stock indexes recovered most of their losses from an early dive on news that Europe's central bank is considering unveiling a stimulus package next month.
At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 12.52 points, or 0.07 percent, at 17,900. It had been down almost 100 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up 2.4 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at t 2,072, and the Nasdaq composite was off 5 points, or 0.11 percent, at 4,769.
Bloomberg News said the European Central Bank is considering a large bond-purchasing program. That would be a relief to investors, who have been worrying that Europe could slip into a recession again.
In the United States, Barnes & Noble fell 5 percent after the company said it was ending its agreement with Microsoft for its Nook e-reader.