Stocks edge lower as budget talks continue

Associated Press
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)
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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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