Shares flat as data offsets "cliff" hope

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November 17, 2012 1:49 AM EST

Stocks opened flat on Friday after disappointing economic data offset optimism following a Wall Street Journal report that White House officials were discussing taking a more flexible approach in negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 0.23 point to 12,542.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 0.24 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,353.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 2.33 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,834.60.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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