(NEW YORK) -- As debate continues over the looming fiscal cliff, stocks were down on Thursday.
The Dow dropped 18.28 points, and the S&P lost 1.73 points. The Nasdaq closed 4 and a quarter points in the red.
U.S. consumer confidence fell in December, pushed lower by fears of sharp tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect next week. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index declined to 65.1 this month from 71.5 in November.
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