- Associated Press - Monday, December 24, 2012

Stocks closed lower Monday on concerns that lawmakers will run out of time to reach a budget deal before the end of the year.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 52 points to close at 13,139 in a shortened holiday trading session.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell three points to 1,427. The Nasdaq composite dropped 8 points to close at 3,013.

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut independent, said it is now “more likely we’ll go over the ‘cliff’ than not,” following the failure of a plan by House Speaker John A. Boehner to allow tax rates to rise on wealthier Americans.

Failure to agree on a budget plan by Jan. 1 would lead to government spending cuts and tax increases that could push the economy into recession.

Stocks closed early, at 1 p.m. EST, before the Christmas holiday.

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