Stocks slide while Washington waits
NEW YORK -- Stocks sank most of the day Thursday after more signs of tension emerged in federal budget talks. They recovered some of the loss after a late report that President Barack Obama and the House speaker would meet.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 74.73 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,170.72.
House Speaker John Boehner, speaking to reporters in Washington before noon, said that the White House was so resistant to cutting government spending that it risked pushing the country off the "fiscal cliff."
The "cliff" is tax increases and government spending cuts that take effect Jan. 1 unless Congress and the White House reach a deal to avert them. Economists have warned that the tax increases and spending cuts could eventually lead to a recession.
Stocks still finished in the red. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 9.03 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,419.45. It was the first loss for the S&P in six days, tying its longest winning streak since early August.
The Nasdaq composite index dropped 21.65 points to 2,992.16.