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Stocks end bad week on up note

Robert Nelson II of Barclays, left, and Fady

Robert Nelson II of Barclays, left, and Fady Tanios of Raven Securities work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday. Investors have been worried that Washington won't act in time to avoid damaging spending cuts and tax increases by the end of the year. President Barack Obama addresses the issue Friday afternoon from the White House. (Nov. 8, 2012) Credit: AP

Wall Street is peering over the "fiscal cliff" and feeling vertigo. The stock market finished one of the worst weeks of the year Friday, pushing Washington to work out a deal to avoid the tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.

Remarks by re-elected President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on the looming deadline didn't do much to cheer the market. Stocks finished barely higher.

Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer at Global Financial Private Capital of Sarasota, Fla., said he expects Congress and Obama to reach a compromise. "But it could well be the conventional U.S. political way of doing it -- the last-minute type of stuff -- in which case the markets will be haunted by it until the point it happens."

For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 277 points, or 2.1 percent. The Dow has fallen 795 points from its closing high for the year, 13,610 on Oct. 5.

On Friday, stocks pared losses as investors took heart from a report showing consumer confidence rose more than expected in November. The Dow finished up 4.07 at 12,815.39; the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 0.17 percent to 1,379.85, and the Nasdaq rose 0.32 percent to 9,204.87. -- AP


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