"There are more things on the plate to worry about than normal," Williams said. "The consumer is weak, their confidence is being hit by the fiscal cliff, and then more importantly, you look ahead to next year and all the taxes are (likely) rising. ... If you're a paycheck-to-paycheck person, that's going to hurt."
Traders have been indecisive as well. In the 22 trading days since the presidential election, the Dow has been up 11 and down 11.
AIG, the bailed-out insurance company, rose more than 2 percent, up 87 cents to $34.13. A group of Chinese companies is in talks to buy AIG's aircraft leasing unit, which could help AIG raise cash to pay off more of its government loans.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.63 percent from 1.59 percent late Thursday, a sign that investors were putting more money in stocks.