Dow Closed Down More Than 500 Points

U.S. stocks shuddered again Wednesday as concerns about France’s credit outlook added to a lengthening list of reasons investors used to sell stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 519.83 points, or 4.62%, to 10,719.94. The S&P 500 fell 51.77 points, or 4.42%, to 1,120.76. The Nasdaq Composite fell 101.47 points, or 4.09%, to 2,381.05.

The United States’ budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for a third straight year, adding pressure on Congress and the White House to make more progress on a long-term plan to shrink the growing imbalance. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit through July totaled $1.1 trillion. Three years ago, that would have been a record high for the full year.

The Obama administration is looking for new ideas to shrink a glut of foreclosed properties held by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are weighing down the housing market and hurting home prices. The U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said on Wednesday they were considering alternatives including turning the foreclosed properties into rental homes.

Oil rose more than 4 percent Wednesday after the government said crude supplies shrank more than expected last week and a new report forecast strong global demand. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose $3.59, or 4.5 percent, to settle at $82.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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