US stocks lower as ‘fiscal cliff’ looms

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AP FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON—US stocks closed lower Wednesday as market sentiment soured less than two weeks before the United States risks going over the “fiscal cliff.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 99.14 points (0.74 percent) to 13,251.82 in closing trade.

The broad-market S&P 500 dropped 10.98 points (0.76 percent) at 1,435.81, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 10.17 points (0.33 percent) to 3,044.36.

Washington has until the end of the month to reach a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that are due to take effect in January and could plunge the world’s biggest economy into recession.

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