"Despite the fact that we had several earnings reports this morning, everyone's attention is simply on Congress and its inability to come to an agreement," mused Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "With the debt ceiling deadline quickly approaching, the market seems to be moving up and down on every bit of news and rumor that surfaces relating to the situation." As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed the session with a triple-digit decline, breaking its four-day winning streak.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 15,168.01) spent the entire session in the red, sinking to an intraday low of 15,161.33 during the afternoon hours of trading. By the closing bell, the blue-chip bellwether was down 133.3 points, or 0.9%. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) were the Dow's two advancers, both up 0.1%, while Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) paced the 28 decliners with a loss of 1.5% each.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,698.06) was also parked in negative territory for most of the day -- aside from a brief blip higher just before noon -- and finished 12.1 points, or 0.7%, lower, and below the key 1,700 level. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,794.01) shed 21.3 points, or 0.6%.
Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 18.66) climbed higher out of the gate, and closed with a gain of 2.6 points, or 16.1%, just shy of its intraday peak.
A Trader's Take:
"There isn't too much to be positive about," Bell lamented. "It seems as if the market is in a holding pattern with all the uncertainty out of Washington. Today, we saw a bit more selling, as it seems like the two sides are further apart than ever."
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