U.S. stocks fell, following a two- week advance for the Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index, as an unexpected contraction in manufacturing spurred concern about the potential economic toll from the so-called fiscal cliff.
DuPont Co., the most valuable U.S. chemical maker, fell 1.7 percent, leading raw-materials producers to the biggest drop among 10 S&P 500 groups. Dell Inc. (DELL) rallied 4.4 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended buying the shares.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.5 percent to 1,409.46 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 59.98 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,965.60. More than 5.6 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges today, or 9.4 percent below the three- month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.