Stocks Fall to Start Week; Dow Loses 60 Points


The U.S. stock market fell to start a new week as an apparent stalemate over fiscal cliff negotiations weighed on market sentiment. Concerns over rising taxes on the wealthy and the potential economic impact of steep spending cuts has created a cautious atmosphere on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 60 points to close at just below 12,966. The widely watched blue-chip average traded in a range between 12,959 and 13,087.

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The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) fell 0.50 percent to close at $141.45. Volume was lighter than normal with around 123.6 million SPY shares trading hands on the session compared to a three month daily average of 133.5 million.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, fell 0.20 percent to $65.67. A small gain in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) helped the QQQ outperform the Dow and S&P on the day.

Crude oil prices were mixed on the day. NYMEX crude futures were last up 0.16 percent to $89.05 while Brent contracts had lost 0.28 percent to $110.92. In ETF trading, the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE:USO) added 0.12 percent to close at $32.60.

Precious metals were higher on the session. At last check, COMEX gold futures had added 0.29 percent to $1,717.60 in the electronic trading session. Silver futures were up 1.27 percent to $33.70. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:GLD) closed the day up 0.05 percent to $166.13.

Amid a falling stock market, Treasury prices rose throughout the session. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) added 0.09 percent to $124.66 on the day. The yield on the 10-Year Note rose one basis point to 1.62 percent.

The U.S. dollar was lower on the day. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, fell 0.32 percent to $21.85. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.3066, a gain of 0.52 percent.

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