Stocks briefly trimmed losses on Wednesday as President Barack Obama pushed for his proposal to have the wealthy pay more in taxes as a way to tame the federal deficit.
Taking a hard line in his opening bid before he begins fiscal talks with U.S. lawmakers later in the week, the president also said he was encouraged that some Republicans have agreed to raising new revenues.
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The Dow Jones industrial average was down 77.75 points, or 0.61 percent, at 12,678.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 6.90 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,367.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 10.48 points, or 0.36 percent, at 2,873.41.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)