‘Fiscal cliff’ whipsaws stocks; confidence dims

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Derrick Irwin, portfolio manager for Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, said he’s “not particularly concerned” about the fiscal cliff — but he is concerned about the economy.

“The economy is going to do what the economy is going to do,” Irwin said, “it just doesn’t look too good.”

Trading volume was light, with many investors still on Christmas vacation. About 2.8 billion shares traded hands, compared to an average this year of about 3.6 billion. Light volume can make the market more volatile. When fewer shares are changing hands, relatively small trades can move the overall market.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 1.74 percent from 1.75 percent.

Among stocks making big moves:

Chipmaker Marvell Technology Group dropped more than 3 percent, falling 26 cents to $7.14, after the company lost a patent case brought by Carnegie Mellon University. Marvell said it would fight the $1.2 billion ruling.

JCPenney fell nearly 6 percent, losing $1.23 to $19.52, after rising more than 4 percent the day before. The stock has been volatile as the company tries to remake its image to attract younger shoppers.

Steinway Musical Instruments fell more than 4 percent, down $1.02 to $21.50, after announcing that it doesn’t plan to seek buyers.

• AP business writer Daniel Wagner contributed from Washington.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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