Stocks Sink as Budget Deadline Nears

Stocks ended lower on Wednesday as a year-end deadline nears with no deal in hand how to cut the U.S. government’s budget deficit. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 98.99 points to end at 13,251.97.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 10.98 points to 1,435.81. The Nasdaq composite index also fell 10.17 points to end at 3,044.36.

The White House threatened to veto House Speaker John Boehner’s backup plan for averting automatic tax increases and government spending cuts that are set to take effect Jan. 1 if no deal is reached on cutting the government’s budget deficit.

The number of building applications issued in November rose to a four-year high, a sign the U.S. housing-market recovery will extend into 2013. Permits, a proxy for future construction, climbed 3.6 percent to an 899,000 annual rate, the most since July 2008.

Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL) on Wednesday reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $105.8 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with a profit of $112.9 million, or 54 cents a share for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $4.64 billion, up from $4.33 billion.

SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) said Wednesday it’ll sell for $2.6 billion in cash its Permian Basin oil and gas properties to Sheridan Production Partners II, a privately-held energy company based in Houston.

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