Authors: Carmen Cox
(NEW YORK) -- Stocks traded in a narrow range, teetering between gains and losses for most of the day. Wednesday the Dow and the S&P finally settled slightly higher, while the Nasdaq slipped.
The Dow edged up seven points and closed at 13,175.64. The S&P gained a fraction of a point, closing at 1,402.22. The Nasdaq closed at 3,011, losing five points on the day.
Still worried about the sorry state of the economy, most Americans are still nervous about spending. Consumer research firm BIGinsight says clipping coupons and tighter budgets are the "new normal" for a majority of Americans. Most impulse buying is a thing of the past.
"Consumers are still watching what they spend, saving money clipping coupons and trying to stay within budget," said Pam Goodfellow, who follows consumer spending at BIGinsight.
She added that U.S. consumers are, "focusing on what we really ned rather than on what we want and making targeted purchases and thinking about them beforehand."
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio