NEW YORK Falling oil prices and a surprise announcement from Hewlett-Packard weighed on technology and energy stocks Tuesday.
HP plunged 12 percent after executives said a company HP bought for $10 billion last year lied about its finances. CEO Meg Whitman said that there were serious accounting improprieties at the search-engine software company, Autonomy.
A warning from the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, about the dangers of the fiscal cliff also weighed on the market in afternoon trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped as much as 94 points shortly after Bernanke spoke.
But the stock market crept higher through the late afternoon and ended the day flat. The Dow dropped 7.45 points to close at 12,788.51. The Standard & Poors 500 index gained 0.92 point to 1,387.81.
On Monday, the Dow soared 207 points as investors focused on prospects for a deal between the White House and congressional Republicans to avoid the cliff, tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.