US stocks sink as battle over 'fiscal cliff' looms
NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks tumbled on Wednesday as President Barack Obama challenged Republicans to accept tax increases for the wealthy in a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff.
After opening higher helped by Cisco Systems's strong earnings, share prices slid and then turned more sharply downward after Mr Obama laid out his terms for a deal in his first post-re-election news conference.
At the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 184.92 points (1.45 per cent) at 12,571.26.
The broad-market S&P 500 lost 19.03 (1.38 per cent) at 1,355.50, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gave up 37.08 (1.29 per cent) at 2,846.81.