Stocks Nudge Lower with No End to D.C. Showdown in Sight

Michael Teague |

The tense atmosphere of uncertainty resulting from a second day of government shutdown on Wednesday proved to be too much for stocks, as indices were down across the board.

After Tuesday’s surprising rally, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 0.07 percent by the closing bell to 1,693.87 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.39 percent to 15,133.14 points, and the NASDAQ edged down 0.08 percent to 3,815.02 points.

The partisan impasse currently forcing the federal government into skeleton crew-mode for going on two days now will cause key economic data generated by government institutions, considered “non-essential,” to be put on hold until the nation’s political system is back up and running. This has left investors with little else to go on but their own anxiety, even as the political class seems more unwilling, or unable, than ever to remedy the situation.

Economic data was not completely absent from the picture, however. The monthly private payrolls report from Automatic Processing Data (ADP) was released indicating that privately-owned US companies added 166,000 employees to the rolls during the month of September, a bit shy of the average of economists’ expectations of a gain of 180,000. The figure for August was revised down from the previous 176,000 figure to 159,000.



Basic Materials stocks were a major support to the S&P, with significant gains for The Mosaic Company (MOS) , Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) , and United States Steel (X) . Still, the index ended lower under pressure from substantial losses for companies who benefit from their work with the government, including many in the industrial goods/defense sector; United Technologies ($UTX), Raytheon Co. (RTN) , and Lockheed Martin (LMT) were all lower by the closing bell.

On the Dow, Coca-Cola (KO) and American Express (AXP) suffered the day’s largest percentage declines behind United Technologies. On the other end of the index, Microsoft (MSFT) was up about one percent after Wednesday’s news of an effort to remove founder Bill Gates from the company’s Board of Directors.

On the NASDAQ, shares of video-game maker Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) dropped after the company’s announcement that its wildly popular NCAA-themed series of sports games would be discontinued next year as a result of a lawsuit from former college athletes. Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) was over 6 percent off after a video of one of its Model S sedans in flames after a relatively small accident went viral.

 

 

[Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
MOS Mosaic Company (The) 24.37 -0.06 -0.25 2,922,021 Trade
TSLA Tesla Motors Inc. 328.40 -1.52 -0.46 4,901,606 Trade
RTN Raytheon Company 169.37 0.59 0.35 859,891 Trade
EA Electronic Arts Inc. 112.22 0.25 0.22 2,434,881 Trade
AXP American Express Company 85.59 0.24 0.28 3,570,375 Trade
UTX United Technologies Corporation 123.49 1.04 0.85 2,472,453 Trade
X United States Steel Corp. 23.68 -0.47 -1.95 12,411,048 Trade
CLF Cliffs Natural Resources Inc 7.29 -0.25 -3.32 9,692,992 Trade
KO Coca-Cola Company (The) 45.03 0.21 0.47 8,545,560 Trade
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 73.79 -0.43 -0.58 46,717,082 Trade
CENEF Centron Telecom Intl Hldg n/a n/a n/a 0

Comments

Emerging Growth

NXT-ID Inc.

Nxt-ID Inc provides products, solutions, and services that have a need for biometric secure access control. Its lines of business include mobile commerce; law enforcement and biometric access control applications…

Private Markets

Cross Campus

With over 500 members and operating 80,000 square feet by summer 2016, Cross Campus is one of the country’s top ten shared, collaborative office or "coworking" operators in the US.…

Quants Inc

Quants, Inc, a California Corporation, develops, markets and operates financial technology platforms and alternative investment products offering sophisticated risk management since 2010. The Company has primarily sharpened its focus with…