Stocks Tumble on Cliff Worries

Stocks fell sharply in trading today, with all three major indexes ending at session lows, as concerns over the fiscal cliff continued to weigh down market sentiment. Stocks extended their losses in late trading after a report that President Obama said he is not to going to make a new budget offer during the meeting with congressional leaders at the White House.

Investors are focused on the meeting between President Obama and congressional leaders at the White House today. Investors are hoping that lawmakers will reach some sort of deal before the year-end deadline and avert the fiscal cliff.

The Dow Jones ended the day 1.21% lower at 12,938.11, the S&P 500 ended the day 1.10% lower at 1,402.43, and the Nasdaq ended the day 0.86% lower at 2,960.31. For the week, the Dow Jones fell 1.92%, the S&P 500 fell 1.94%, and the Nasdaq fell 2%.

All sectors in the S&P 500 ended the day in red. Conglomerates were the worst performers in the S&P 500 today, ending the day 1.30% lower. Energy sector also fell sharply, ending the day 1.29% lower. Industrials ended the day 1.10% lower.

Among the major movers in trading today were Accretive Health Inc. (NYSE: AH), which ended the day 5.98% lower at $11, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which ended the day 1.10% lower at $509.41, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD), which ended the day 4.60% lower at $2.28, Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM), which ended the day 0.26% higher at $11.79, and magicJack VocalTec Ltd. (NASDAQ: CALL), which ended the day 10.26% higher at $17.95.

On the economic front, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed that pending home sales rose 1.7% in November. Meanwhile, the Institute of Supply Management-Chicago reported that its index of Midwest business activity rose to 51.6 in December.

European markets ended mostly lower earlier today, with the FTSE 100 Index in London closing 0.49% lower and the CAC 40 Index in Paris closing 1.47% lower. Asian markets ended mostly higher overnight, with the Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closing 0.70% higher, and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closing 0.21% higher.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.