Dow, S&P 500 close at lowest levels since early August


Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, with the Dow losing more than 300 points and all major indexes dropping more than 2 percent in the wake of the presidential election as the looming congressional debate over avoiding the fiscal cliff and Europe's economic troubles returned to the forefront.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 312.95 points, or 2.36 percent, to close unofficially at 12,932.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 33.86 points, or 2.37 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,394.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 74.64 points, or 2.48 percent, to close unofficially at 2,937.29.

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The S&P 500 posted its biggest daily drop since June 21, with all 10 S&P sectors solidly lower and more than 80 percent of stocks on both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq ending in negative territory.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)