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Stocks End Mixed as 'Cliff' Doubts Linger
CNBC.com | November 30, 2012 | 04:34 PM EST

Stocks ended narrowly mixed in lackluster trading on the final day of November, as investors were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the weekend amid ongoing " fiscal cliff " discussions.

Stocks have been choppy in the recent weeks as investors reacted to a chain of mixed remarks from lawmakers in Washington on the progress of the fiscal cliff talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 3.76 points to close at 13,025.04 in volatile trading. Wal-Mart gained, while Microsoft lagged.

The S&P 500 squeezed out a gain of 0.23 points to end at 1,416.25, while the Nasdaq slipped 1.79 points, to finish at 3,010.24. Both indexes ended in positive territory for the month. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished near 16.

For the month, the Dow slipped 0.55 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.29 percent, and the Nasdaq rallied 1.11 percent. Intel was the worst monthly performer on the Dow, while Cisco soared.

For the month, utilities lagged, while consumer discretionaries gained.

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