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Stocks pare losses after a day in the dumps

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 5, 2014 in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

After a day in the dumps Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index pared losses but still ended in the red, as the Nasdaq composite turned in a relatively healthy gain.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow was down 51.28 points, or 0.3 percent, at 17,801.20. It had been down nearly 200 points. The S&P was off less than a point at 2,059.8 after being down about 15 points. The Nasdaq composite ended up 25.8 points, or 0.5 percent, at 4,766.5.

European markets slid Tuesday after an early presidential vote was called in Greece, which investors feared could jeopardize the struggling country's bailout program. Stocks also fell in China after regulators there tightened rules for lending.

The price oil rose 77 cents to $63.82 a barrel in trading on the Mercantile Exchange in Manhattan.

Government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.22 percent.

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