Stocks lost ground for the second day in a row Tuesday, as investors braced for Corporate America to start reporting quarterly results.
NEW YORK -- Stocks are little changed in early trading on Wall Street as a budget deadline approaches with no deal in sight.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points at 12,931 shortly after the opening bell Monday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up two points at 1,405 and the Nasdaq composite edged up 10 points to 2,970.
There are just hours to go before a midnight deadline, when sweeping tax increases and government spending cuts will go into effect unless lawmakers agree on a plan to cut the nation's budget deficit.
More than $500 billion in 2013 tax increases would take effect and $109 billion would be slashed from defense and domestic programs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says negotiations are ongoing.