Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday as anxiety over yet another protracted debate in Washington, DC over the nation’s debt ceiling gets ever nearer, temporarily dislodging concerns about the Federal Reserve’s near-term plans for fiscal stimulus.
The Department of Commerce’s announcement of a slight but unexpected increase in durable goods orders for the month of August was quickly overlooked as investors and the nation at large brace themselves for the brinksmanship soon to take place on Capitol Hill.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed on a loss of 0.27 percent to 1,692.77, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.40 percent lower to 15,273.26. The NASDAQ was off 0.19 percent, finishing at 3,761.10.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was the Dow’s biggest loser, down 1.45 percent on rumors that the company was cutting back on orders. On the opposite end of the index, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) led the way up on a gain of nearly 3 percent despite the fact that the Department of Justice roundly rejected the company’s offer to pay $3 billion to make its legal woes disappear.
Apple (AAPL) was a significant weight on the NASDAQ, shedding 1.55 percent by the closing bell on the announcement that its main rival Samsung had beaten it to the punch in the race to release a curve-shaped smartphone. BlackBerry (BBRY) and Groupon (GRPN) continued their respective declines on heavy trading, while JC Penney (JCP) hit a 13-year low after the stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs (GS) .
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