Investors on Wall Street fretted Tuesday that a deal to keep Greece from triggering a financial crisis might fall apart, and a slew of corporate earnings reports at home didn't make them feel much better.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 33 points at 12,676. It has risen or fallen less than 100 points in 14 straight trading sessions, the longest calm stretch since late March and early April last year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 ended in the red for only the third time this year, losing a point to close at 1,315. The most the S&P has lost in a day this year is seven points. It is up 4.5 percent for 2012.
The Nasdaq added two points to close at 2,787 after a day of wavering between small gains and losses. The Nasdaq has led major the stock indexes in January with a 7 percent gain.
Technology stocks could be in for a strong day Wednesday. After the market closed Tuesday, Apple trounced analysts' estimates for its revenue and profit. Its stock shot up 9 percent in after-hours trading.
Rising stocks slightly outnumbered falling ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was lighter than average at 3.7 billion shares.
Treasury prices rose from their lowest levels this year because of uncertainty about whether Greece will reach a deal with its creditors. That drew money back into safer investments.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.06 percent from 2.07 percent Tuesday. The lower yield indicates investors are willing to accept a lower return in exchange for security.
In Europe, Greece's stock market index fell 5.5 percent. Stocks fell less than 1 percent in Germany, France and Spain and ended slightly higher in Italy.
A deal between the Greek government and the banks that hold Greek national bonds is considered crucial to the stability of the European financial system. Investors fear that if Greece can't pay its debt, it could trigger a panic.
"There's a lot of apprehension about the unknowns," said Brian Gendreau, market strategist for El Segundo, Calif.-based Cetera Financial Group. "It's not what people think they know about Europe. It's what they worry they don't know."
Greece is trying to get its creditors to swap Greek government bonds for new ones that have half the face value. But agreeing on a new interest rate has been a stumbling block. Greece faces an important bond repayment deadline in March.
The International Monetary Fund predicted Tuesday that a recession in Europe, exacerbated by the debt crisis there, will slow the global economy this year. Europe's recession should have a modest impact on the United States.
The IMF forecasts global growth of 3.25 percent this year, slower than the 4 percent pace it projected in September.
In U.S. news, disappointing earnings reports added to investors' concerns.
Kimberly-Clark Corp., which makes Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers and a number of other household goods, said rising costs pushed its net income down 19 percent in the fourth quarter. The stock fell 1.7 percent.
Chemical maker DuPont Co. said its fourth-quarter net income dipped as lower sales and higher costs overshadowed higher prices. The results still beat analysts' expectations, and the stock was flat.
Coal producer Peabody Energy Corp. fell 1.7 percent after its forecast for the first quarter fell well short of expectations.
Leading the pack of companies trading higher after reporting earnings, bag and accessories maker Coach Inc. gained 5.8 percent after quarterly net income rose almost 15 percent because of stronger holiday sales.
Among other stocks making large moves:
_ Zions Bancorporation fell 7.5 percent, the most of any stock in the S&P 500, after the Salt Lake City bank reported income that fell far short of Wall Street's expectations. At least one analyst downgraded the stock.
_ Hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. was one of the top gainers in the S&P after reporting that its results handily beat Wall Street's expectations. The stock jumped 6.3 percent.