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Business Watch: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Hurt U.S. Auto Sales

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(Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

Dampened by a report showing contraction in manufacturing, stocks closed lower Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 60 points, a half percent, to close at 12,966.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell seven points, also a half-percent, to close at 1,409.

The Nasdaq composite dropped eight points, three-tenths percent, to 3,002.

Fiscal Cliff Could Hurt Auto Sales

Superstorm Sandy gave an added push to already strong U.S. auto sales last month, but carmakers say the “fiscal cliff” phenomenon could hurt sales.

Most major companies, from Toyota to Chrysler, posted impressive increases from a year earlier. Only General Motors was left struggling to explain its three percent sales gain and large inventory of unsold trucks.

U.S. Opposes Internet Oversight at Conference

The U.S. is leading an effort at the International Internet Conference to reject proposed oversight revisions. The concern is new rules could complicate commerce, and be used by some nations to justify further cyber-crackdowns.

Qualcomm Invests in Sharp, LCD Screens

Sharp Corp. says Qualcomm Inc. will become a shareholder with an investment of up to $120 million that will fund joint development of new LCD screens for mobile devices.

Qualcomm’s investment in Sharp will be made in two stages because the initial injection of cash is not sizeable enough to completely stabilize Sharp’s finances.

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