Market Minute: Investors Assess Budget Battle; Auto Stocks Hum Along

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Investors assess the impact of the budget stalemate, and auto stocks are hitting on all cylinders. Those stories and more are what's in Tuesday's Market Minute.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 128 points Monday, as the budget showdown rattled investors. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) both lost 10 points.

Despite the recent selling, the major averages still closed out the third quarter with solid gains. The Dow added 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq soared nearly 11 percent.

The last government shutdown -- back in 1995 -- led to small market losses. But in the month after the impasse was resolved, the S&P 500 rallied by 10 percent.
Detroit Struggles To Re-Build A Bankrupt City Amidst Poverty And Blight
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
We're watching auto stocks today with monthly sales reports starting to roll in. Sales have been running at their best levels since before the financial crisis began, but we're expected slight declines for September -- partly because of a calendar quirk.

Meanwhile, stock prices have soared. General Motors (GM) is up 58 percent over the past year; Ford Motor (F) shares have jumped 71 percent; and luxury carmaker Tesla Motors (TSLA) has soared by more than 500 percent.

Also keep an eye on health insurers such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), Wellpoint (WLP) and Humana (HUM), as consumers start to check out the plans available under the Obamacare exchanges.

Amazon (AMZN) is planning to add 70,000 jobs for the holiday shopping season. That's up from 50,000 last year. And Walmart (WMT) is planning its biggest ever warehouse, in Bethlehem, Pa., to fulfill online orders.

Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) continue to slide. They closed Monday at $8.80 a share, their lowest level in more than 30 years. Penney is having trouble attracting investors and customers.

Facebook (FB) will soon allow users to search the site for status updates and posts. It will roll out the new tool slowly, first to a select group of users.

And Walt Disney (DIS) and Dish Network (DISH) have agreed to a short-term extension in their current round of talks, without blacking out any ESPN, ABC or other Disney-owned programming.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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