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Stocks close down as angst over Greek debt grows

The statue of George Washington on the steps

The statue of George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall faces the facade of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Oct. 2, 2014. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. Stocks ended the day about where they started -- down but not as far down -- as uncertainty mounted over Greece's debt bailout talks with its creditors.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 107.7 points, about 0.6 percent, to 17,791.2. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 9.7 points, about 0.5 percent, to 2,084.4. The Nasdaq composite gave up 21.1 points, about 0.4 percent, to nearly 5030.

Stocks fell sharply in early trading but recouped some of their losses by day's end. At one point, the Dow was down as much as 200 points.

European markets fell. Benchmark indexes were down 2 percent in Germany and France. Investors ditched Greek stocks and Greek government bonds.

As the markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 27 cents at $60.09 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract hit a high for the year this past Wednesday but has been falling since then and on Friday it sank 81 cents to settle at $59.96 a barrel.

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