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US stocks end flat

New York, Dec 8 (DPA) Major stock indices ended Tuesday little changed, erasing a rally earlier in the day prompted by President Barack Obama’s remarks on a deal to extend tax cuts.

Obama defended a compromise with Republicans that would extend tax cuts for two years, saying the deal was essential to avoid placing a greater burden on the middle class.

The compromise proposal announced a day earlier keeps the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for middle-income earners in place – a position Obama supported. It also extends cuts for wealthy households with incomes exceeding $250,000. Obama wanted the tax cuts for the wealthy incomes to expire, but Republicans, who can block a vote in the Senate, insisted on keeping them.

But investors were later spooked by concerns about the Irish economy as austerity measures were announced in Dublin.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 3.03 points, or 0.03 percent, to 11,359.16. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 index added 0.63 points, or 0.05 percent, to 1,223.75. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3.57 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,598.49.

The US currency gained against the euro to 75.42 euro cents from 75.16 euro cents Monday. The dollar edged up against the Japanese currency to 83.51 yen from 82.64 yen.

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