Fiscal uncertainty, Middle East weigh on Wall St
US stocks rose today, after a series of weak sessions, as strong earnings from technology bellwether Cisco and two retail chains boosted sentiment.
Investors are grappling with the impact of the US "fiscal cliff," a series of mandated tax hikes and spending cuts that start to take effect early next year
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 125.64 points, or 0.98 percent, to 12,630.54. The S&P 500 Index dropped 11.83 points, or 0.86 percent, to 1,362.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 22.43 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,861.46.
European stocks eased today, failing to hold the previous day's gains as anti-austerity strikes across southern Europe and Greece's unresolved debt crisis put the euro zone's troubles back in focus.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.3 percent at 1,096.03 points, eating away at yesterday's 0.4 percent rise which was its first daily gain in a week.
Japan's Nikkei inched up to end a seven-straight session losing run, with struggling TV maker Sharp Corp rallying on news of possible investment, although looming US fiscal woes and the euro zone's debt crisis capped gains.
The Nikkei ended 3.68 points higher, or 0.04 percent, at 8,664.73 in light trade, with volume at 68 percent of its daily average for the past 90 days, indicating investors' wariness amid stuttering global growth and dismal corporate earnings.
The benchmark Nikkei had lost 4.3 percent during the seven-straight session of decline, its longest such losing streak in seven months.