Closing Bell: Stocks Fall as Shutdown Drags On for Third Day

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Wall Street new york stock exchange investing government shutdown
Richard Drew/AP
Investors were in a bearish mood again Thursday as they continued to weigh the possibility of the now 3-day-old government shutdown lasting significantly longer, and a survey showed disappointing growth in service-sector industries.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 136 points, or 0.9 percent, to 14,996, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 15 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,678 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) slumped 40 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,774.

Thursday's stock market losses marked a slight acceleration of gradual declines during the last two weeks. Stocks have logged modest declines on eight of the last 10 days as investors anticipated that negotiations over the federal budget would fail, forcing a partial shutdown and worker furloughs as of Oct. 1. If the shutdown persisted, they worried, the weak economic recovery could slow.

In Washington, the political gridlock showed no signs of ending. Republicans in the House of Representatives, pushed by a hard core of tea-party conservatives, are insisting that Democrats and President Obama accept changes to his signature health care reform law as part of a budget bill. Obama refuses to consider any deal linking the health care law to routine legislation needed to extend government funding, a position that has near-universal backing from Democrats in Congress.

In a speech President Barack Obama said there was only one way out of the shutdown: "Congress has to pass a budget that funds our government with no partisan strings attached."

In economic news, The Institute of Supply Management reported that sales fell sharply, new orders fell and hiring weakened at U.S. service companies, which cover everything outside manufacturing, including retail, construction, health care and financial services.

Defense companies, which rely on government contracts for much of their revenue, fell again. Lockheed Martin (LMT) dropped 1.9 percent to $122.75 and Northrop Grumman (NOC) fell 2.2 percent to $93.08.

In commodities trading, benchmark crude for November delivery fell $1.08 to $103.02 a barrel, while gold fell $3.20 to $1,317.40 an ounce.

In corporate news, Angie's List (ANGI) slumped 17.5 percent to $17.32, a day after The Wall Street Journal reported that the consumer review service was testing cutting its membership prices by 75 percent in several big U.S. cities. New members could pay $10 for an annual membership, down from around $40. On Thursday, however, the Journal reported that "the tests appear to have abruptly ended." The newspaper said it wasn't clear if the company raised prices to prior levels in all cities where the lower fees were being tested. It also noted that the company didn't respond to emails or calls seeking comment.

More Stocks in the News:
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA) lost 4.2 percent to $173.29 after the electric car company had a rare downgrade from a financial analyst and on news of a fire involving one of its cars.
  • Herbalife (HLF) tumbled 6.7 percent to $68.21 following news that activist investor Bill Ackman has reduced his short position against the nutritional supplement maker, while reasserting his argument that the company's business amounts to a pyramid scheme.
  • PVH Corp. (PVH) climbed 4.2 percent to $122.50 after the clothing company announced that it is selling the G.H. Bass & Co. unit to G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (GIII) for about $50 million. PVH also raised its third-quarter adjusted earnings forecast.
  • HCP Inc. (HCP) fell 4.6 percent, to $39.85 after the real estate investment trust fired James F. Flaherty as its chairman and CEO.
  • CalAmp (CAMP), a wireless technology company, surged 14.2 percent to $21.34, after the company's third-quarter outlook came in better than Wall Street analysts had been expecting.
  • Texas Industries (TXI) plunged 11.7 percent to $59.18 after the cement and building-materials supplier's first-quarter performance missed analyst expectations.
  • Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA) rose 2.2 percent to $124.06 after a Citigroup (C) analyst increased his price target on the beauty company, calling it his most preferred stock due to its significant growth potential.
What to Watch Friday: -Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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89 Comments

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nthereoff

The stock market was at it's all time high just last week. Down a few hundred points this week doesn't mean much. My 401 is doing just fine. God bless America.

October 04 2013 at 7:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

I'm evan / 4ever / somey / bad.
Capitalists sure make me mad.
We libs like Communists, you see.
They give the most to guys like me.

(notice I didn't post "bums"
I'm trying to be nice.

October 04 2013 at 2:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Proof that Democrats are crazy: California is going to give illegals driver's licenses.

October 04 2013 at 1:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

God bless America and help our leaders to do what is best for the country.

October 03 2013 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
gop4ever3

not gonna happen, you said God is punishing us, that's why God stuck us with the ACA.

October 03 2013 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gop4ever3's comment
betty_brock

That is why God stuck us with the Dems.

October 04 2013 at 1:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down
betty_brock

I will pray for you, Evan.

October 03 2013 at 10:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
gop4ever3

Let's all pray for Evan whoever and wherever he may be. I will also pray for betty tonight as well and ask God to purge the hatred in her heart, but it may take an exorcism of epic measure to do so.

October 03 2013 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to gop4ever3's comment
betty_brock

Pray to God tonight, Evan not Allah.

October 03 2013 at 10:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

It is sad that Evan projects his hatred onto others. I hate no-one, but I feel sorry for him.

October 03 2013 at 10:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
gop4ever3

LOL now that's a good one!

October 03 2013 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hugh_geenormous

Hugobama has already moved passed this shutdown. He's focused on unilaterally raising the debt ceiling in a complete violation of the constitution..... then he will dare the weak Republican leadership to take action whike the praetorian media gives him cover.

October 03 2013 at 10:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hugh_geenormous's comment
betty_brock

You got that right, hugh.

October 03 2013 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Really Evan. You should ask God's forgiveness and start going to Church.

October 03 2013 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to betty_brock's comment
gop4ever3

Who the heck is this Evan you keep referring to, some sort of imaginary foe or something? You seem to be obsessed with this thing called Evan.

October 03 2013 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gop4ever3's comment
hugh_geenormous

He's some loser

October 03 2013 at 10:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
betty_brock

Look at the name tag your mommy pinned to your shirt, Evan.

October 03 2013 at 10:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
gop4ever3

Just remember betty there is more than going to Church than just showing up and going through the motions. Make this Sunday a fresh start and actually participate and rid yourself of your hateful thoughts while there, even if only for an hour. It will do your soul good.

October 03 2013 at 10:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to gop4ever3's comment
betty_brock

It is obvious that God is punishing us for turning our backs on him. Find Jesus now.

October 03 2013 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
gop4ever3

LMAO! Yes Betty find him now, time is running short....

October 03 2013 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to gop4ever3's comment