Market Snapshot

With clock ticking on the ‘cliff,’ stocks slip

Stocks fell in light trading as time to avoid the fiscal cliff appeared to be running out. Stocks had fallen sharply Friday; the Dow had its biggest drop in more than a month after House Republicans called off a tax vote, leaving budget talks in disarray days before tax increases and government spending cuts kick in, which some economists fear could spark a recession. Falling stocks outnumbered gainers 5 to 1 in the 30-member Dow, with tech companies leading the decliners. Stocks may face more pressure as investors who have reaped gains this year decide to sell and book the capital gains tax in 2012, to avoid any potential increase in that tax rate next year.