Stocks are dropping sharply on Wall Street as investors fear that there may not be a quick resolution to a budget impasse in Washington.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points in late afternoon trading Wednesday after President Barack Obama insisted that higher tax payments from wealthy Americans would have to be part of any deal, something opposed by Republicans in Congress
Shortly before the close of trading the Dow was off 185 points at 12,571. It was down 83 points before Obama began a news conference at 1:30 p.m.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19 to 1,355 and the Nasdaq composite was down 37 points at 2,847.