News Summary: Stocks fall as 'fiscal cliff' nears

News Summary: Stocks fall as 'fiscal cliff' deadline approaches with no budget deal in sight

Associated Press

WATCHING WASHINGTON: Stocks fell for a fifth straight day as Wall Street watched Washington to see if talks between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders would yield a last-minute budget agreement.

NO NEW DEAL: Early declines accelerated late in the day after reports emerged that Obama would not be offering a revised budget deal.

HOME BUYING: An index that measures the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years, adding to evidence that the housing market is recovering. The news failed to bolster stocks.

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