Well I guess we know what Wall Street thinks about the election results:

Stocks ended sharply lower Wednesday, one day after the re-election of President Obama. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down about 313 points, or 2.4%.

Investor reaction is decidedly negative over the defeat of the more business-friendly Mitt Romney and the continued gridlock in Congress that makes it tough for lawmakers to avert a fiscal policy crisis by year-end.

The benchmark Dow remains below the psychologically significant 13,000, not seen since Aug. 3. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Nasdaq composite index ended down 2.3% and 2.5%, respectively, with stocks in nearly every industry lower.

The Dow, which settled at 12,933, had its lowest close since Aug. 2; the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had their lowest closes since Aug. 6.

Wall Street pros said negative sentiment was amplified Wednesday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi expressed concerns ahead of the U.S. market open about the outlook for Europe’s economies, especially Germany.

Others said much of the sell-off is coming from computerized trading programs, which trigger huge sell-offs of stocks at pre-set prices hit versus investors making decisions on the spot about what they think of a stock’s outlook. One exception: Apple (AAPL) shares closed at $558.13, off 3.8% Wednesday. That puts the computer and gadget maker in correction territory, which is still about off 20% from its September intraday high $705.07 a share.

Investors are focusing on what Obama and Congress will do to avert the looming so-called “fiscal cliff.” The biggest fear is Washington’s inability to compromise in a lame-duck session over a host of mandated budget cuts and tax cut expirations set to kick in Jan. 1. Fears are that lack of a deal will roil markets and derail the economic recovery.

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