Stocks closed near unchanged on Wednesday a day after Wall Street's best rally since March, as the oncoming debt ceiling deadline overshadowed strong earnings from Apple Inc

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 15.21 points, or 0.12 percent, to end unofficially at 12,572.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 0.85 points, or 0.06 percent, at 1,325.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was off 12.29 points, or 0.43 percent, at 2,814.23.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch)