Stocks Opened Down on fiscal Cliff View

Stocks fell at the open on Friday as President Barack Obama and top lawmakers planned to make a last- ditch attempt at a budget deal to prevent the United States from going over the “fiscal cliff.” The Dow Jones industrial average lately dropped 90.53 points, or 0.69 percent, to 13,005.78. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 10.20 points, or 0.72 percent, to 1,407.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 16.07 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,969.84.

Amid partisan bluster, top members of Congress and President Barack Obama were offering slim hopes for a limited fiscal deal before the new year — a White House summit scheduled for Friday afternoon. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ )confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating its allegations that Autonomy Corp. engaged in accounting improprieties before it was acquired by H-P last year.

Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) said on Friday that Penguin publishing house’s parent, Pearson (NYSE:PSO) , has agreed to make a strategic investment of $89.5 million in exchange for a 5% equity stake in its Nook Media unit.

Benchmark U.S. crude-oil futures rose in electronic trade Friday. Crude oil for February delivery (NMN:CLG3)  rose 44 cents, or 0.5%, to $91.31 a barrel during Asian trading hours.

The Dollar Index climbed to a two- week high. The dollar strengthened 0.2 percent to $1.3211 per euro at 9:09 a.m. New York time, after rising as much as 0.5 percent, the biggest gain since Dec. 21.

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