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Overnight Markets: Wall Street falls amid fiscal cliff talks

Overnight Markets: Wall Street falls amid fiscal cliff talks

Wall Street slipped on Monday, following last week gains, as lawmakers prepared to discuss the so-called fiscal cliff and euro-area finance ministers debate Greek aid.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42 points, or 0.33%, to 12,967. The S&P 500 dropped three points, or 0.2%, to 1,406. The Nasdaq Composite gained 10 points, or 0.33%, to 2,977.

Markets rallied last week on the political willingness to negotiate the prevention of the looming fiscal cliff, but the White House threw cold water on the proposal by limiting tax deductions and loopholes, instead of allowing tax rates to rise for the richest Americans.

In eurozone, finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund made their third attempt in as many weeks to agree on releasing emergency aid for Greece. Policymakers said a write-down of Greek debt is off the table for now.

Retailers fell on concerns about heavy discounts at the start of the U.S. holiday shopping season. Target, one of the largest retailers by market value, fell 2.6%. Macy’s Inc. slumped 4.5%.

Bucking the retail trend, shares of eBay closed at their highest in almost eight years, rising 4.9%, as the online marketplace notched strong sales on "Cyber Monday." Amazon gained 1.6%.

Shares of Knight Capital Group Inc jumped 13.3% following reports that rivals might be preparing to bid for part or all of the trading firm.

Technology shares also rebounded with Apple adding 3.2% after the company asked a federal court to add six more products to its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. slumped 0.7% after providing a profit forecast below estimates. DreamWorks Animation SKG lost 5.2% as “Rise of the Guardians” opened in fourth place in cinemas over the Thanksgiving weekend.

In Asia, equities gained on Tuesday after European finance ministers slashed borrowing costs for Greece and gave the indebted nation more time to pay back rescue loans.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.6% to 124 as of 10:47 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.6%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.8% and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1%.

Singapore’s Straits Times and Taiwan’s Taiex both rose 0.3%. China’s Shanghai Composite slid 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng increased 0.6%.

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