Fiscal cliff warning sends stock market lower

Stocks slide as fiscal cliff looms; retailers worry that holiday shopping burst won't last

Associated Press
Despite talk of compromise, fiscal deal elusive
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FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, file photo, shoppers wait on a check-out line in the Times Square Toys-R-Us store after doors were opened to the public at 8 p.m., in New York. U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday. They were attracted by retailers' efforts to make shopping easier, including opening stores on Thanksgiving evening, updating mobile shopping applications for smartphones and tablets, and expanding shipping and layaway options. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Stocks are closing mostly lower as Washington lawmakers and business groups bicker over the proper rates for taxing and spending.

In Europe, leaders tried to cobble together another bailout loan for Greece.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 43 points to close at 12,967 Monday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to 1,406. The Nasdaq composite eked out a gain of 10 points to end at 2,977.

Macy's, Target and Saks fell on worries that the strong start to the holiday shopping season may not last.

A report by White House economists warned that consumer spending would suffer if no deal is reached on budget talks.

Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was thin at 2.8 billion shares.

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