Closing Bell: Stocks Dip as Investors Fear Extended Shutdown

wall street after US government shutdown
Cem Ozdel, Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Worry over a protracted government shutdown and concerns about weak hiring combined to push stocks slightly lower Wednesday, though blue chips posted steeper losses.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,133, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dipped 1 point to 1,693 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) fell 3 points to 3,815.

Republicans in the House of Representatives are insisting that Democrats negotiate over the health care law as a condition for ending the funding deadlock. Senate Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, insist that Republicans pass a straightforward temporary funding bill with no strings attached.

The market moved sharply lower in early trading, then pared its loss in the late morning following news that President Barack Obama had invited congressional leaders to the White House for a meeting on the shutdown.

Defense companies, which rely on government contracts for a large part of their revenue, led declines for industrial companies. Raytheon (RTN) fell 1.7 percent to $76.14, while Lockheed Martin (LMT) dropped 1.9 percent to $125.08.

Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing (ADP) said private employers added 166,000 jobs in September, below expectations for 180,000 jobs. Investors were looking to the ADP report for more guidance because Friday's broader employer report from the government will be delayed should the shutdown go beyond Wednesday.

In commodities trading, benchmark crude for November delivery rose $2.06 to $104.10 a barrel, and gold rose $34.60, or 2.7 percent, to $1,320.60 an ounce.

In corporate news, the possibility of a second offer for BlackBerry reversed a slide in its stock price, after the struggling smartphone maker said it expected to record $400 million in pretax charges related to cuts announced last month. After falling to a low of $7.51 earlier in day, BlackBerry (BBRY) shares closed up 0.6 percent at $7.97.

Microsoft (MSFT) rose 1 percent to $33.90, following a report that some investors are eager for co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates to step down. While soon-to-depart chief executive Steve Ballmer has been under pressure for years to improve the company's performance and share price, this appears to be the first time that major shareholders are taking aim at Gates, who remains one of the most respected and influential figures in technology.

More Stocks in the News:
  • Shares of Pandora Media (P) rose 5.2 percent to $26.86 after the online music service reported increases in its number of listeners and the amount of time they listened. Oakland, Calif.-based Pandora said its September listener hours rose 18 percent to 1.36 billion. Meanwhile, its total number of active listeners jumped 25 percent to 72.7 million, compared with the same month in 2012.
  • Monsanto (MON) fell 1 percent to $104, after the company reported a wider loss than analysts were expecting because of weak sales of genetically engineered seeds.
  • Global Payments (GPN) jumped 11.5 percent to $56.52 after the company named a new CEO, sped up share repurchase plans and increased its profit outlook. The company provides electronic transaction processing services for retailers, financial institutions and government agencies.
  • Burlington Stores (BURL) shares rose more than 47 percent from their IPO price of $17 after Bain Capital returned the discount apparel retailer to the stock market, tapping into the appeal of cheaper clothing in a tough economy. Burlington's shares opened at $23.50 and closed at $25.10, valuing the company at $1.8 billion.
  • Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) rose 0.8 percent to $13.10 after the company's initial public offering raised about $754 million. The company owns the Empire State Building and other office properties in New York and Connecticut.
  • Alcoa (AA) slipped 1.8 percent to $8.02 after Deutsche Bank (DB) analyst Jorge Beristain cut his rating for the stock to "Sell" from "Hold," citing falling aluminum prices, which severely reduce Alcoa's profits during the next couple of years.
What to Watch Thursday:
  • The Labor Department reports initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 28 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • At 10 a.m., the Commerce Department reports Factory Orders for August; the Institute for Supply Management releases its survey of service-sector business activity for September; and Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates.
-Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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I have a idea,,,,,,!!!!!!!1 Why did not Obama let the people vote on OBAMA CARE.??? OVER 50% do not want it,,,and,,,Obama has gave waviers to the others...

LET THE PEOPLE VOTE,!!!!!!!!!!!! They know it would not have passed.!!!!

October 03 2013 at 7:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pdbliz's comment

Then he couldn't be a dictator.

October 04 2013 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why was it okay for Obama to give exemptions to whoever he felt like and make changes in the law without going through Congress? Face it people, this thing is a money grab for the Progressives and they don't care how bad this thing has fallen on its face, as long as they get the money! It is NOT about helping people!

October 03 2013 at 6:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jrb359's comment
hugh_geenormous wasn't ok....but he does shlt like this knowing that boehner, cantor and the rest are too weak to call him on it, or the multiple other impeachable offenses.

October 03 2013 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Boehner put a clean bill on the floor it would pass. He has NO backbone and must be replaced, matter of fact all republicans should be replaced. The tea party with 60 members in the house has tied up our government and they only represent 16% of the population. Next election hopefully the American people will get smart and we will send a lot or republicans home.

October 03 2013 at 2:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to toosmart4u's comment


October 03 2013 at 7:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Hey dunce.....they are doing what they were elected to do. However, you're right about boehner....if johnny is too weak to call obama on his many impeachable offenses, why should anyone believe that he can handle strong members in his House?

October 03 2013 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so guess increasing the debt limit-allow to go farther into debt-is a good idea so we can be sure to pay the interest on our existing debt. Try to run your household like that

October 03 2013 at 12:19 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sandi's comment

We take in nearly $3 trillion this year in revenue. We won't default unless obama wants us to.

October 03 2013 at 8:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Notice since they pushed for tariff reductions, trade deals, and non immigrant visas we went from training for real jobs to jobs that don't exist and a broken middle class.

October 02 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Noticed there has been a reported decline in Information Technology workers in NJ? Could that be because they were displaced by H1B and L1 visa workers who now operate illegally in single family homes?

October 02 2013 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How come the BLS contradicts it's self? When is the last time the BLS called you for their household survey? What do they do all day sit in the bar and get high?

October 02 2013 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Today you need a college education just to go out for shopping carts part time. When you have to pay more for your Ipod and service than you earn part time with that degree you might suspect something is up.

October 02 2013 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate to say this, but maybe this country needs another great depression to get it back on track and get all the idiots out of washington

October 02 2013 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to birdeeputter's comment

Aren't we in one now?

October 02 2013 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pay no mind to that rising not in the workforce and declining workforce pool in NJ. All this had nothing to due with over occupied housing with a dozen mattresses on the floor or imported visa workers.

October 02 2013 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply