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Date published: 12/20/2012

By Bill Freehling

Stocks drop as 'cliff' sniping continues

Stocks dipped Wednesday, recording their first loss of the week. President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress sniped at one another, and a deadline to avoid sweeping tax increases and government spending cuts drew closer.

General Motors stock surged after the government announced plans to sell its ownership stake in the company.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 98.99 points, or 0.7 percent, at 13,251.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 10.98 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,435.81. The Nasdaq composite index fell 10.17, or 0.3 percent, to 3,044.36.

The S&P 500 index had gained more than 2 percent over the previous two days in part because of optimism about a deal taking shape. The optimism seemed to melt on Wednesday, and stocks finished near their lows for the day.

GM soared $1.69, or 6.6 percent, to $27.18 after the company said it would spend $5.5 billion to buy 200 million shares of its own stock back from the federal government.

The government pledged to sell the other 300 million GM shares it owns on the open market and shed its entire ownership stake in 12 to 15 months. The government got GM stock as part of a 2009 bailout.

Glover Enterprises selects a new location

Glover Enterprises Inc. has chosen a new home for its wood, gas and pellet stove business now at the Falmouth intersection in Stafford County.

The company will move to the shopping center on Chatham Heights Road in southern Stafford that is also home to Earl's True Value Hardware.

Glover's current home will be demolished as part of the Virginia Department of Transportation's plan to improve the busy intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17.

Demolition work at the intersection started Tuesday.

Other businesses located at the Falmouth intersection have already relocated.

Blazes, which sells hearth and patio products, moved to its former warehouse not far away at 19 Baron Park Road, off White Oak Road, in southern Stafford.

Jim Wicker, whose Potomac Realty Inc. brokerage firm was on Butler Road near the Falmouth intersection, moved his office to 1135 Heatherstone Drive near BJ's Wholesale Club off State Route 3 in Spotsylvania County.

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