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NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, but closed out a third straight year of double-digit gains for the S&P 500, as crude oil prices continued their descent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 159.81 points, or 0.89 percent, to 17,823.26, the S&P 500 lost 21.46 points, or 1.03 percent, to 2,058.89 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 41.39 points, or 0.87 percent, to 4,736.05. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)