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Stocks Slammed by Fiscal Cliff Fears

Gold for December delivery lost $1 to settle at $1,714 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while December crude oil contracts fell $4.27 to settle at $84.44 a barrel.

The dollar rose 0.19%, according to the U.S. dollar index .

In corporate news, Time Warner (TWX) posted third-quarter earnings of 86 cents a share, beating estimates by 4 cents, though revenue came in at $6.84 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $6.9 billion, as strength at the media giant's cable networks was balanced by weakness at the company's film and TV entertainment business. Shares gained 4.2%.

WellPoint (WLP) shares slumped 5.4% after the health insurer reported earnings per share of $2.09, better than the $1.83 a share expected by analysts, but posted revenue of $15.13 billion, below forecasts of $15.3 billion as enrollment declined by over 2%.

Macy's (M) shares slid 2.3% even after the retailer posted third-quarter earnings that exceeded estimates and hiked its full-year outlook. The retailer got a boost from its efforts to customize products to local preferences and to put more focus on trendy brands. It also stayed upbeat about the holiday season even after destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Shares of Buckle (BKE) popped 1.6% after the casual apparel retailer announced a special dividend of $4.50 a share, the company's second special dividend in slightly more than a year.

U.S. Cellular (USM) shares plunged 12.4% after the company agreed to sell spectrum and customers to Sprint (S) in a transaction worth about $480 million. Sprint shares dropped 1.9%.

McGraw-Hill (MHP) has entered into exclusive discussions to sell its education unit to Apollo Global Management (APO), and the two sides could reach an agreement within a few weeks, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The final price for the educational publisher is expected to be below $2.5 billion, less than the $3 billion to $4 billion the sellers had sought initially, the people said. McGraw shares fell 1.8%.

Shares of Plexus (PLXS) dropped 26.7% after the company said it's no longer a supplier for Juniper Networks (JNPR).

--Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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