“U.S. stocks fell Thursday after House Speaker John Boehner declared spending to be the issue preventing a deal to avert spending cuts and tax hikes from starting in the new year,” Kate Gibson reports for MarketWatch. “Boehner called a news conference to detail his views on what is blocking negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff, with the Ohio Republican blasting President Barack Obama and Democrats for looking to ‘punish small businesses’ with higher tax rates.”

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 28.15 points, or 0.2%, to 13,217.30,” Gibson reports. “The S&P 500 index fell 4.14 points, or 0.3%, to 1,424.34, with consumer-related companies leading gains and energy leading sector losses. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 4.55 points, or 0.2%, to 3,018.36.”

Gibson reports, “U.S. stocks posted a flat performance Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that the central bank doesn’t have the ability to shield the economy from the full impact of the fiscal cliff. Many economists fear that failure to avoid the cliff would trigger a recession.”

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