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NEW YORK, Dec 21 AFP

December 22 2012, 03:02AM

US stocks are lower in early trade amid concern about the "fiscal cliff," as an end-of-year deadline to reach a deal looms.

Several minutes into the session on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 115.96 points (0.87 per cent) at 13,195.76.

The broad-market S&P 500 dipped 13.32 points (0.92 per cent) at 1,430.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 53.87 points (1.77 per cent) at 2,996.51.

Washington has until the end of the year to stop the US from going over the so-called fiscal cliff, a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts that experts say could drag the world's biggest economy into recession.

However, a political compromise remains elusive.

On Thursday, the Dow finished up 0.45 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.55 per cent and the Nasdaq climbed 0.20 per cent.