“U.S. stocks fell as concern about the budget debate in Washington and an Israeli air strike in the Middle East overshadowed an advance in technology shares after Cisco (CSCO) Systems Inc.’s earnings topped estimates,” Nikolaj Gammeltoft reports for Bloomberg.

“The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.5 percent to 1,368.26 at 12:14 p.m. in New York, after rising 0.4 percent earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 75.99 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,680.19. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 6.6 percent above the 30-day average at this time of day,” Gammeltoft reports. “The S&P 500 has fallen 4.2 percent since President Barack Obama’s re-election set up a budget showdown with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The benchmark gauge for U.S. equities has lost 6.7 percent from its high for the year on Sept. 14, paring its 2012 gain to 8.8 percent.”

Gammeltoft reports, “Stocks extended losses after Israel carried out a series of air strikes in the Gaza Strip today, killing the leader of Hamas’s militant wing, and said it was ready to use ground troops if needed to end attacks on its citizens. In Europe, industrial production dropped the most in more than three years in September, led by double-digit declines in Portugal and Ireland… Retail sales in the U.S. fell in October for the first time in four months… Technology shares rose the most among 10 S&P 500 groups, climbing 0.3 percent. Cisco surged 6.3 percent to $17.92. The maker of computer-networking equipment said profit excluding some costs was 48 cents a share in the fiscal first quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg of 46 cents a share.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]