Updated from 11:50 a.m. EST
Update: A modest sell-off in stocks picked up steam Tuesday afternoon after Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV.) said he was "disappointed" with the "little progress" being made in negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.
"We only have a couple weeks to get something done so we have to get away from the "happy talk" and do "specific things," Reid said, according to wire service reports.
The Dow fell about 60 points in immediate reaction and was recently down 0.6% to 12,891, closed down 0.7% to 12,878, just off its lows of the session; meanwhile, the S&P 500 shed 0.5% to close below the psychologically important 1400 level.
Earlier: Stocks were modestly lower Tuesday despite potential positive catalysts such as the latest Greek bailout, a better-than-expected durable goods report, a spike in consumer confidence and another gain in the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which hit its highest level since October 2010.
One reason for the lack of enthusiasm:Read More »from Update: Stocks Slide as Political “Arms Race” Threatens Fiscal Cliff Deal