NEW YORK — Stocks are meandering near the break-even point as budget talks hit another snag in Washington.
General Motors surged after the government announced plans to shed its ownership stake in the company.
Shortly before midday today, the Dow Jones industrial average was down six points at 13,344.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down two at 1,445. The Nasdaq composite index was up three at 3,057.
The White House threatened to veto House Speaker John Boehner's backup plan for averting automatic tax increases and government spending cuts that are set to take effect Jan. 1 if no deal is reached on cutting the government's budget deficit.
The S&P 500 index gained more than 2 percent over the past two days in part because of optimism about a deal.