The Dow Jones industrial average closed out its first losing session in four days Tuesday as investors sold shares despite the best efforts of German and French economic leaders to assuage fears that debt issues will hamstring their respective economies.

The S&P 500 shed 11.73 points, or 1%, while the Nasdaq fell 31.75 points, or 1.24%, in moderate trading. At one point, the Dow was off more than 190 points before staging a minor rally in late trading.

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