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Stocks Move Mostly Lower Amid Fiscal Cliff Worries - U.S. Commentary


After initially turning in a mixed performance, stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of morning trading on Wednesday. The major averages have all slid into negative territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a notable move to the downside.

The weakness that has emerged on Wall Street is partly due to lingering concerns about the looming fiscal cliff, with recent comments from Republican leaders suggesting that lawmakers remain far apart on a potential deal.

The worries about the fiscal cliff have overshadowed a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data, including a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing an unexpected acceleration in the pace of service sector growth.

Housing stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 2.8 percent. M/I Homes (MHO) has helped to lead the sector lower, tumbling by 6.9 percent.

Significant weakness has also emerged among gold stocks, which are moving lower along with the price of the precious metal. Software, internet, and networking stocks have also come under pressure, helping to drag the Nasdaq firmly into the red.

The major averages have edged up off their lows for the session in the past few minutes but remain in negative territory. The Dow is down 15.09 points or 0.1 percent at 12,936.69, the Nasdaq is down 31.72 points or 1.1 percent at 2,964.97 and the S&P 500 is down 6.24 points or 0.4 percent at 1,400.81.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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