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A Sinking Dow Can't Avert Fiscal Cliff Fears

Dan Carroll
December 28, 2012

Wall Street's on fiscal cliff watch again as the year winds down to a close, and it's taking the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) down with it. As of 2:15 p.m., the Dow's pushed lower by 90 points, or 0.7%, as the index threatens to cross back below the 13,000 mark. A mere two of the index's stocks are in the green on a day dominated by red, and with so many laggards, no sector is safe.

Waning hopes for a deal
Politicians continue to talk over last-minute negotiations to avert  the fiscal cliff, but with no public air of agreement over a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts needed to find a solution, it seems less likely now that a deal will be done before the new year. While the fiscal cliff's impact will phase in throughout the early part of the year rather than all at once, that won't stop Wall Street from feeling down about the situation.

Energy stocks in particular have been hammered in today's sell-off. On the Dow, big-oil members Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) rank among the worst Dow laggards of the day w