Stocks Opened Lower on Cliff Concerns

U.S. stocks dropped at the open on Friday after a Republican proposal for averting the “fiscal cliff” failed to pass, dissipating hopes that a deal would be reached soon in Washington. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 100.81 points, or 0.76 percent, to 13,210.91. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 12.15 points, or 0.84 percent, to 1,431.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 53.78 points, or 1.76 percent, to 2,996.60.

Consumer spending rose in November by the most in three years and a gauge of planned business spending jumped. The Commerce Department said on Friday inflation-adjusted consumer spending rose 0.6 percent, while after-tax income climbed 0.8 percent when adjusting for changes in prices.

Orders for durable goods increased 0.7 percent last month after a 1.1 percent gain in October that was larger than previously estimated, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington.

The dollar gained on Friday. The ICE dollar index (NYE:DXY) , which measures the greenback against a basket of six rivals, traded at 79.413 in recent action compared with 79.239 in late North American trading on Thursday.

Oil futures dropped on Friday. Crude oil for February delivery (NMN:CLG3)  fell $1.10, or 1.2%, to $89.03 a barrel in electronic trading.

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