December 12, 2013
Wall Street ends lower as government shutdown goes on
US stocks dropped today as investors worried that a budget stalemate in Congress would become entangled with much more critical legislation to raise the federal borrowing limit.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 136.66 points, or 0.90 percent, at 14,996.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 15.21 points, or 0.90 percent, at 1,678.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 40.68 points, or 1.07 percent, at 3,774.34. The S&P 500's 50-day moving average stood at 1,679.84.
European equities inched higher recovering after the previous session's declines, with BP a strong gainer after winning a reprieve over Gulf spill payouts.
BP rose 1.3 percent to 438 pence, one of the top individual points contributors to the FTEurofirst 300, after the energy company won a legal reprieve in a case related to settlements over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent at 1,249.55 points having dropped 0.7 percent on Wednesday. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 rose 0.1 percent to 2,921.04 points.
But the market could struggle to make much headway given the likely impact of the US government shutdown on talks to raise the country's debt ceiling by mid-October.
Analysts say that if this is not done it would push the world's biggest economy into default and hurt the pace of economic recovery.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei stock average dropped for a second day as investors fretted about the US government shutdown and agenda for raising the debt ceiling.
The Nikkei shed 0.1 percent to 14,157.25, staying below its 25-day moving average of 14,242.79 as well as 14,193.99, a 50 percent retracement of its May high to its low in June. The Topix fell 0.1 percent to 1,173.99.