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Stocks Pummeled by Eurozone, Fiscal Cliff Worries

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages endured a sharp drop Thursday as fresh worries about the eurozone and fiscal cliff overshadowed upbeat domestic labor market and trade data.

Concerns about Greece's stability were back following a Bloomberg report that the European Union won't decide on whether to provide the next round of bailout funds for the country until sometime next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down more than 121 points, or 0.94%, at 12,811, settling just above its session low.

The blue-chip index, which is now up 4.96% in 2012, suffered a steep loss on Wednesday, falling more than 2% to close below 13,000 for the first time since early August, in the wake of President Barack Obama's defeat of Mitt Romney in the presidential election.

Breadth within the Dow was again negative, with laggards ahead of gainers, 26 to 4. The biggest percentage losers among the blue chips were Cisco (CSCO), McDonald's (MCD - Get Report), Home Depot (HD) and United Technologies (UTX).

McDonald's shares lost 2% after the fast food restaurant chain said its global sales fell 1.8% in October, hit by the combination of an uncertain economy and stiff competition. This was the company's first monthly sales decline since March 2003.

Shares of Dow components JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Walt Disney (DIS) were also weak.

JPMorgan shares dipped 0.17% after the bank said it's been given Federal Reserve approval to restart stock repurchases in the first quarter of 2013 through a capital plan that would also permit ongoing dividend payouts.

Walt Disney slid 0.08% ahead of the company's fiscal fourth-quarter results. After the close, Disney reported a profit of 68 cents a share on revenue of $10.78 billion for the September-ended quarter vs. Wall Street's estimate for earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $10.92 billion. The stock was down 2% in extended trades.

The Dow's gainers were Bank of America (BAC), Boeing (BA), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Travelers Cos. (TRV).

The S&P 500 shed more than 17 points, or 1.22%, to close at 1377.51, while the Nasdaq was under the most pressure, falling nearly 42 points, or 1.42%, to close at 2896.
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