NEW YORK - U.S. stocks are closing with sizable losses after a technical outage forced the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading for half the day.

The NYSE's troubles didn't extend to the dozens of other exchanges that also trade U.S. stocks, such as the Nasdaq, so investors were still able to buy and sell stocks easily Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 261 points, or 1.5 percent, to 17,515.

The Standard & Poor's 500 gave up 34 points, or 1.7 percent, at 2,046 and the Nasdaq was down 87 points, or 1.8 percent, at 4,909.

The NYSE didn't say what the problem was but described it as internal and not the result of a breach of its systems. Trading stopped at mid-morning at resumed at 3:10 p.m. Eastern.

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