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Apple, budget talks drag stocks down

Shares of Apple, the most valuable company in the United States, slumped Friday, helping to drag down the stock market. A lack of progress in federal budget talks also discouraged investors.

Apple's stock dropped 4 percent after the launch of the iPhone 5 in Beijing failed to draw the long lines of customers that showed up for previous versions of the iPhone, according to news reports.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.41 percent to close at 1,413.58, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sank 0.70 percent to 2,971.33. Apple is the biggest stock in both indexes. The Dow, which doesn't include Apple, fell 35.71 points to 13,135.01. All three stock-market measures ended the week with a loss.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met Thursday to discuss a budget deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," a collection of higher taxes and government spending cuts scheduled to start Jan. 1. There were no signs of progress, and Boehner returned home to Ohio Friday. -- AP

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