NEW YORK, Jan. 12 -- U.S. stocks ended mixed on Wednesday as fresh worries over European economic slowdown weighed on the market.
German gross domestic product decreased by about 0.25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, adding to worries that the region may sink into recession.
Adding to fears, ratings agency Fitch urged the European Central Bank to ramp up buying of euro zone debt to prevent a " cataclysmic" collapse of the euro, pushing the euro to a 16-month low against the U.S. dollar.
Energy shares were among the weakest in the market as oil prices dropped to the lowest level since Dec. 30 after a government report showed crude inventories rose 4.96 million barrels to 334.6 million barrels last week, the highest level since the week ending Dec. 2.
As of Wednesday's close, the Dow Jones industrial average dipped 13.02 points, or 0.10 percent, to 12,449.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 inched up 0.40 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,292.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 8.26 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,710.76.