Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange REUTERS

Stocks dropped again over fears of spreading euro zone debt crisis, although equities seemed to stabilize somewhat on mid-afternoon reports that Republic politicians agreed to compromise with President Obama on extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 46.67 points, or 0.42 percent, to 11,006.02. The S&P 500 index fell 7.21 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,180.55. The NASDAQ composite index tumbled 26.99, or 1.07 percent, to 2,498.23.

U.S. economic data was mixed.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence jumped to a five-month high of 54.1 in November (well above expectations) from 49.9 in October.

However, the S&P/Case-Shiller index revealed that home prices are falling faster in the nation's largest cities.

NASDAQ was particularly hurt by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which declined 4.54 percent on news that the EU is opening am anti-trust probe of the company’s business practices.

Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) climbed 4.81 percent on an analyst upgrade.

Baldor Electric Co. (NYSE: BEZ) surged 40.35 percent after it agreed to be acquired by ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) for $63.50 a share.

Bond prices rose as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 2.80 percent from 2.82 percent Monday.

Oil prices fell 2.41 percent to $83.66 per barrel