Stocks fell precipitously on Tuesday for the second consecutive trading session, as the fight over the US budget carries on with no overt prospect for resolution.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 1.23 percent to 1,655.45 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial average shed 1.07 percent to close at 14,776.53, and the NASDAQ was a whopping 2 percent off to finish the day at 3,694.83 points.
Government-produced economic data continues to be on hold as a result of the shutdown that has now entered a second week, ahead of another even more high-stakes battle over the raising of the nation’s debt limit due next week.
On the S&P 500, tech shares suffered the brunt of the sell-off, with significant losses for Micron Technology (MU) , Intel (INTC) , Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) dropping on heavy trading. TripAdvisor (TRIP) was hit hardest however, dropping over 5 percent to $71.70.
Tech stocks were the biggest losers on the Dow as well, with telecoms Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T taking leading the way down. Only three components ended the day in the positive, with Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) , Procter & Gamble Corp. (PNG) , and The Coca-Cola Company (KO) making modest gains.
On the NASDAQ, property and casualty insurance provider Tower Group Inc. (TWGP) ended the day more than 40 percent lower to $4.26 after announcing that it was adding $365 million to its reserves, with the company's mounting claim losses stemming back to Hurricane Sandy that battered swathes of the Northeastern US in late 2012.
Overall, however, it was tech shares that brought the index lower, with Facebook Inc. (FB) ending the day nearly 7 percent lower, followed by drops for Cisco Systems (CSCO) , Groupon Inc. (GRPN) , and Vodafone Group plc (VOD) .