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Stocks tumble as ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline nears

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Stocks fell for a fifth day on concern that Washington lawmakers will fail to reach a budget deal before a year-end deadline. The five-day losing streak for the Dow was the longest since July. The Dow dropped 158.20 points to 12,938.11 points, with losses accelerating in the last 20 minutes of trading as reports circulated that President Obama would not be making a new budget proposal in a meeting with congressional leaders. Stocks declined despite reports that suggested the outlook for the economy is improving, including a report that a measure of pending home purchases rose in November to its highest level since April 2010.