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US stocks open lower as debt talks near collapse
US stocks fall on expectations that panel will fail to agree on cutting federal deficit
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Stocks are falling at the opening of trading amid reports that a congressional committee will fail to agree on a plan to cut the U.S. government's budget deficit.

Minutes after the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 141 points, or 1.2 percent, to 11,792. The S&P 500 index is down 17, or 1.4 percent, to 1,215. The Nasdaq is down 21, or 1 percent, to 2,572.

A 12-member bipartisan panel is supposed to agree on at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts by Wednesday. But the panel appeared ready to admit failure on Monday.

If the committee fails, it will trigger automatic spending cuts over 10 years starting in 2013. Analysts say that if Congress tries to dismantle those cuts it could lead to another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

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