Stocks finished narrowly mixed as investors appeared to be underwhelmed by President Obama’s budget proposal, while unrest in the Middle East has spread to Iran and even Bahrain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 5.07 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 12,268.19 The S&P 500 index edged up 3.17 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,332.32. The Nasdaq composite gained 7.74 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,817.18.
Obama’s proposed $3.73 trillion budget for the next fiscal year will cut the nation's long-term deficit by about $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) dropped 1.60 percent after JPMorgan downgraded the retail giant, citing that Wal-Mart may risk losing low-income customers who head to discount stores, while more affluent other shoppers go back to more expensive stores.
Shares of Emergency Medical Services (NYSE: EMS) plummeted 11 percent, after private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice said it would take over the company for $3.2 billion.
Bonds rose as the yield on the 10-Year Treasury slipped to 3.61 percent.
Oil futures slipped while gold climbed.