US stocks fell Friday amid worries about Washington's budget impasse, with a sharp drop in Apple weighing on the Nasdaq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.76 points (0.02 percent) at 13,167.96 in late morning trade.
The broad-market S&P 500 fell 3.6 points (0.25 percent) at 1,415.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite shed 15.91 points (0.53 percent) to 8,343.843.
Investors continued to be concerned about a series of tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January if Washington fails to reach a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, which economists say would drag the United States into recession.
"The closer we get to the December 31 deadline without a deal, however, the more insecure the market will become," said Briefing.com's Patrick O'Hare.
Heavyweight Apple, which launched its iPhone 5 in China Friday amid investor concerns about a lack of consumer interest, was down 3.9 percent. A federal jury on Thursday found Apple guilty of infringing on smartphone call handling and camera patents held by a licensing firm in which rivals Sony and Nokia hold stakes.
"Apple's weakness has been a major weight on the broader market given its size and how widely owned it is," O'Hare said.
Oilfield services company Schlumberger skidded 5.9 percent after announcing higher than usual seasonal slowdowns in international markets and weaker activity in North America.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer fell 0.4 percent. The Wall Street Journal reported it was considering a launch early next year of a "roughly $4 billion US initial public offering for animal-health unit Zoetis Inc."
Best Buy meanwhile tumbled 15.7 percent as the troubled electronics retailer said its founder Richard Schulze would be given until February to make a takeover bid.
On Thursday, US stocks closed lower across the board amid fiscal cliff concerns that cast a pall over a batch of somewhat positive economic data on jobs, retail sales and inflation.
Friday's bond prices were higher. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell to 1.71 percent from 1.73 percent late Thursday, while the 30-year slipped to 2.87 percent from 2.90 percent.
Bond prices and yields move inversely.