Flat open on Wall Street as budget talks loom

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Associated Press

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 11:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed in early trading on Wall Street as budget talks continue in Washington.

Discount retailer Big Lots soared 8 percent after beating analysts' earnings forecasts and raising its estimate for full-year earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 13 points at 12,978 shortly after the opening bell Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up a fraction at 1,409 and the Nasdaq composite index fell two points to 2,999.

Pep Boys fell 9 percent after posting a loss on weak sales at the company's auto stores and rising costs.

In Washington, talks are proceeding on how to avoid a fiscal crunch of higher taxes and government spending cuts set to automatically kick in at the beginning of the year.

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