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Stocks slide as impasse over budget deficit looms

November 15, 2012 • Business


FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2012, file photo, James Dresch of MND Partners Inc. works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Wall Street also appeared headed for gains on the open Wednesday Nov. 14, 2012 as renewed efforts got under way in Washington to resolve the impending “fiscal cliff.” (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors drew little hope Wednesday for a quick compromise in U.S. budget talks after President Barack Obama insisted that higher taxes on wealthy Americans would have to be part of any deal.

Stocks fell sharply, and even a signal from the Federal Reserve that it could launch a program in December to speed job growth failed to encourage investors. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 185 points.

Obama made clear he would seek higher tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans, which faces opposition among some Republicans in Congress. Obama said that a modest increase on the wealthy “is not going to break their backs.”

“The Street was looking for him to say some magic buzzwords about avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff,’ about cooperation,” said Sal Arnuk of Themis trading, a New Jersey brokerage. Instead, Arnuk said, the remarks were “unyielding.”

The “cliff” is a package of tax increases and government spending cuts that will take effect Jan. 1 unless Obama and Congress reach a deal first. They would total about $700 billion for 2013 and could send the country back into recession.

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