US stocks suffer broad losses

A specialist looks at a screen at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013.

Stocks fell broadly Thursday, as investors weighed the consequences of an extended government shutdown after a budget deal remained elusive in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137 points, or 0.9%, to 14996, its ninth decline in 11 sessions and closing below 15000 for the first time in a month. All but four Dow components were lower.

The S&P 500 index gave up 15 points, or 0.9%, to 1679, and the Nasdaq Composite index shed 41 points, or 1.1%, to 3774.

Republicans and Democrats remained at an impasse over terms for reopening the federal government. Highlighting investor jitters, the Dow shed as much as 186 points to 14947 intraday, later rebounding after a report that House Speaker John Boehner told Republican colleagues that he wouldn’t allow the US to default on its debt. Stocks briefly dipped again in the afternoon after reports of gunshots outside Capitol Hill.

Investors say the intraday moves underscored the nervous mood among investors as the shutdown of the federal government entered its third day and the deadline to raise the nation’s borrowing limit drew closer.

But most investors remained confident that Washington would resolve the more pressing issue of raising the nation’s debt ceiling, despite the stalemate over funding the government.

The Obama administration underscored the economic consequences of a long-term fight over spending and the borrowing limit.

“I’m not sitting here expecting a default,” said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Global Financial Private Capital, a $2.3 billion money manager in Sarasota, Fla., adding that he has been cautiously buying stocks the past two days.

“It’s hard to guess what goes on as far as the political situation is concerned, but from an investment viewpoint there are some opportunities this has created.” WSJ


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