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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

US Stocks end quietly after Obama's budget plan (ext)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks ended Monday's session mixed, as investors digested President Obama's 2012 budget proposal in a quiet trading session.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) fell 5 points, or less than 0.1%, to 12,268; the S&P 500 index (SPX) gained 3.2 points, or 0.2%, to 1,332; and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose 7.7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,817.

President Obama unveiled his administration's $3.7 trillion budget proposal, which will cut the nation's long-term deficit by about $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Traders however said there was little for Wall Street to react to in the White House's proposal.

"The budget is not going to have a meaningful impact on equities," said Michael James, senior equity trader at Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles. "A lot of this was known well in advance."

With no reports on the domestic economy, stocks will probably have a "sideways performance," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist with Avalon Partners.

Congress will hold budget hearings throughout the week, and investors are likely to focus their attention on deficit levels.

The dollar rose against the euro and the British pound, but eased versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for March delivery settled down 63 cents to $84.95 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery rose $4.70 to $1,365.10 an ounce.

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