U.S. stocks ended almost flat on Friday as investors were cautiously awaiting a resolution on the nation's debt problems.
Nevertheless, the three major indexes managed gains for the week, partly supported by a series of positive U.S. data released during the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.76 points, or 0.03 percent, to 13,025.58 on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 edged up 0.23 points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,416.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.79 points, or 0.06 percent, to 3,010.24.
For the week, the S&P 500 eked out a 0.5-percent gain while the Dow gained 0.12 percent and the Nasdaq 1.46 percent.
Market sentiment was swayed by headlines about Washington's "fiscal cliff" talks as well news from Europe.
When President Barack Obama was on a trip to Pennsylvania, pressing his way to narrow the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, House Speaker Republican John Boehner said that the negotiations with the White House to avoid the "fiscal cliff" were "almost nowhere."
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner offered a proposal on dealing with deficit cuts, which, however, didn't appeal to Republicans.
News from Europe was also mixed. Market sentiment was lifted after the German parliament approved Greece's debt deal, paving the way for the debt-ridden country to get the long-awaited bailout money.
However, some investors stood on the sidelines over fears that euro zone unemployment that rose to a record high of 11.7 percent in October would add to economic woes in the recessionary area.
On the economic front, consumer spending slipped 0.2 percent in October, falling for the first time in five months, according to the Commerce Department.
The Institute for Supply Management in Chicago said the PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) in the region rose to 50.4 in November, the first expansion in the manufacturing sector since August.
On currency markets, the U.S. dollar fell against the euro on Friday after German parliament approved Greece's debt deal. In late New York trading, the euro reached 1.3002 dollars from 1.2972 in the previous session.
Crude prices on Friday rose after choppy trading, posting the first monthly gain since August. Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose 84 cents, or 0.95 percent to settle at 88.91 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, posting a rise of 2.67 dollars, or 3.10 percent for November.
Brent crude for January delivery gained 47 cents, or 0.42 percent to finish at 111.23 dollars a barrel, registering a monthly gain of 2.53 dollars, or 2.33 percent. It was also the first monthly rise since August.