, as investors again turn their focus to the approaching "fiscal cliff."
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 24 points at 12,791 shortly before noon Monday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points to 1,378. The Nasdaq composite lost seven points to 2,899.
Trading was light. The federal government and U.S. bond trading were closed for Veterans Day.
Huge government spending cuts and tax increases are scheduled to kick in at the beginning of the new year unless a divided Congress and the White House can work out a compromise before then.
Last week the Dow dropped 434 points in two days after the election, giving it one of its worst weeks of the year.