Stocks slide on GDP Data

U.S. stocks ended a choppy trading session with moderate losses on Tuesday on a downward revision of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter. Higher borrowing costs for Spain also renewed worries about Europe’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.59 points, or 0.5%, to 11,493.72. The S&P 500 lost 4.94 points, or 0.4%, to 1,188.04. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.86 points, or 0.1%, to 2,521.28.

The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate from July through September,, down from the government’s initial estimate of 2.5 percent. Economists had expected the figure to remain the same.

The Federal Reserve announced it would conduct fourth round of stress tests to determine if major U.S. banks can withstand a recession. The latest round of tests comes at a time when many are concerned about U.S. banks’ exposure to the European debt crisis, which could throw that region into a recession and rattle global financial markets.

Federal Reserve policymakers this month discussed how they could give businesses and investors more information about what might trigger an increase in interest rates, according to minutes of the Nov. 1-2 meeting.

The failure of a U.S. congressional panel to reach a deficit-reduction deal was an option leaders of both parties anticipated and spent months laying political groundwork to manage.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday that drug maker Merck will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.The agency said Merck will pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil settlement agreement.

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