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Stocks Close Near Lows; Apple Below $500
15 Feb 2012 EST - CNBC.com
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Stocks closed lower Wednesday, with the Dow logging its sharpest decline this year, amid ongoing worries over Greece, following the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes, and as Apple slumped.

Apple tumbled to close below $500 a share, weighing on the S&P and Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 97.33 points, or 0.76 percent, to end at 12,780.95, posted its worst session in 2012, led by BofA and United Tech .

The S&P 500 dipped 7.27 points, or 0.54 percent, to finish at 1,343.23. The Nasdaq dropped 16.00 points, or 0.55 percent, to close at 2,915.83.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped above 21.

All 10 S&P sectors finished in the red, led by industrials and techs.

The Fed minutes showed a few officials in January felt another round of bond buying would be needed before long to support the U.S. economy. The debate took place at a meeting in which the Fed decided to hold its benchmark interest rate at record lows until at least late 2014.

Earlier, Chinese central bank governor said China will continue to invest in euro zone debt, helping to keep the market higher. But the gains were overshadowed following reports that the euro zone finance ministers may delay bailout payments to Greece, while still avoiding a disorderly default.

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