Stocks Sink As Budget Deadline Looms

NEW YORK (December 19, 2012)--Stocks closed lower Wednesday on Wall Street as a year-end deadline neared with no deal in hand on how to cut the U.S. government's budget deficit.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 99 points to end at 13,252 Wednesday, after two days of 100-point gains.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 11 points to close at 1,436.

The Nasdaq composite index also fell 11 points to end the day at 3,044.

The White House threatened to veto House Speaker John Boehner's backup plan for averting automatic tax increases and government spending cuts that are set to take effect Jan. 1 if no deal is reached on cutting the government's budget deficit.

Falling stocks narrowly outnumbered rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was below the recent average at 3.8 billion.

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