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Dow Drops 117 Points, Nasdaq Loses 1.3% as Earnings Season Starts

Stocks skidded lower on Tuesday, with the Dow losing over 100 points and the Nasdaq dropping 1.3 percent, as investors showed caution before the quarterly earnings season and small business sentiment weakened in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 117 points down, the S&P 500 fell 13 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 60 points. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, rose a point, or 8.7 percent, to 12.31. "There is some nervousness waiting for the earnings season to really kick off. Certainly what investors are looking for is proof that the U.S. economy is going to pick up steam in the second half," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management. The National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.6 points to 95 last month, pulling back from a six-year high.

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