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Major Averages Close Near the Unchanged Mark

A day after a two percent rally, stocks closed near unchanged on Tuesday. Volume was light heading into the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. An accounting scandal involving Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) $11 billion acquisition of enterprise software-maker Autonomy was among the leading market stories on an otherwise slow day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a little more than seven points to close just above 12,788. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 12,701 and 12,808.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) added 0.04 percent to $139.19, a gain of a mere 6 cents. Volume was light with around 112.3 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of roughly 130 million.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, rose 0.03 percent to $63.80. The QQQ has now added a little better than 14 percent in 2012.

Crude oil fell on the session and NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, were last trading down 2.42 percent to $87.12. Brent crude contracts had lost 1.41 percent in electronic trading to $110.13. The United States Oil Fund ETF (USO) fell 2.20 percent to $31.95 on Tuesday.

Precious metals were very slightly lower on the day. At last check, COMEX gold futures had shed 0.37 percent to $1,727.90 and silver futures were down 0.07 percent to $33.17. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) fell 0.30 percent to close at $167.39.

Treasuries fell throughout the trading session despite lukewarm risk sentiment. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) lost 0.99 percent to close at $124.41. The yield on the 10-Year Note rose five basis points to 1.66 percent.

The U.S. dollar was also slightly lower on the session. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, fell 0.05 percent to $22.13. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.2806, a gain of 0.29 percent on the day.

(c) 2012 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.