Stocks continue to trade lower today as the debt ceiling deadline approaches. Congress seems as far as ever in reaching an agreement on a new plan to address the nation’s deficit and future spending policies. Meanwhile, Wall Street still seems optimistic that a deal will be reached as reflected by only minor dips in the market this week despite that lack of progress and upcoming deadline. But a lack of a huge drop is more indicative that investors are waiting for a direction as trading volume has also been declining. If Congress can announce a deal late this week, there’s a good chance the news may spark a rally. Inversely, if no progress is made in the next few days, investors might begin panic selling to brace for a U.S. default. Currently, there are two rival plans being worked on by Republicans and Democrats. However, House Speaker John Boehner’s plan for $3 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years is losing steam among GOP colleagues and may not garner enough votes to pass. On the other side of the spectrum, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan may have a chance, if politics-as-usual doesn’t get in the way. Though, the plan is criticized as more of a stopgap than a long-term solution, something President Barack Obama has repeatedly spoken against. Meanwhile, commodities such as oil and gold continue to push higher.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 12,529.00 (-0.51 percent)
S&P 500: 1,334.68 (-0.21 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,844.06 (+0.04 percent)
Russell 2000: 826.83 (-0.55 percent)
In other news:
- George Soros, one of the greatest investors of all time and the man who broke the Bank of England, is retiring as a hedge fund manager. [Bloomberg]
- Greece’s fate could now be in the hands of two former college roommates turned political rivals. [WSJ]
- Has Netflix (NFLX) lost its spot as the darling on Wall Street? Consumers and investors seem to be unhappy with the direction the company is heading. [NY Times]
- So when is a $10 billion stock buyback program unimpressive to investors? Apparently when you’re Goldman Sachs (GS). [Fortune]
- A credit downgrade for the U.S. from its vaunted AAA level could cost the economy $100 billion a year. [The Street]
Check back for more news.