Stocks Slammed on Fiscal Cliff Worries

Stocks finished down sharply on Wednesday as investors worry about the “fiscal cliff.”  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 185.23 points, or 1.45%, to 12,570.95, its lowest finish since late June. The S&P 500 Index declined 19.04 points, or 1.39%, to 1,355.49, its lowest close since late June. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 37.08 points, or 1.29%, to 2,846.81, its lowest close in five months.

President Barack Obama said on Wednesday a tax hike on the middle class could result in slowing retail sales for the holidays, and could affect business planning and hiring.

A Congressional subcommittee investigating the collapse of brokerage MF Global said Wednesday that former CEO Jon Corzine’s reckless tactics doomed the firm and ultimately led to a shortfall of $1.6 billion in customer funds.

Crude-oil supplies rose 1.35 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 9, according to a report from the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday. Distillate stocks rose by 184,000 barrels, while gasoline inventories fell 103,000 barrels last week, the report from the trade group said. December crude (NMN:CLZ2) settled at $86.32 a barrel, up 1.1%.

Teavana stock burned up Wednesday afternoon, rising more than 50%, after Starbucks announced it would buy the Atlanta, GA. Starbucks (SBUX) agreed to acquire Teavana (TEA) for $620 million in an all-cash deal. Teavana shareholders will receive $15.50 per share in cash once the deal goes through.

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