US stocks close flat under 'fiscal cliff' fears

US stocks closed flat Monday as persistent fears about the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes at year-end cast a cloud over encouraging China trade data.

In closing trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.00 points (0.02 percent) at 12,817.39.

The broad-market S&P 500 edged up a bare 0.17 point (0.01 percent) to 1,380.02, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 0.62 (0.02 percent) to 2,904.25.

"The growing US fiscal cliff concerns continue to hamstring the bulls, keeping stocks in check," Charles Schwab & Co. analysts said.

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