"The drama in Washington continues -- in the third day of the government shutdown, everything seems to be taking a backseat to the ongoing political gridlock," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "The markets greeted this situation with a heavy dose of selling, but finished well off their lows. Elsewhere, news of gun shots near Capitol Hill did little to impact trading." Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) pared some of its losses by the close, it still racked up a triple-digit deficit and ended south of 15,000.
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Down more than 186 points at its intraday low, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 14,996.48) closed off 136.7 points, or 0.9%. It was the blue-chip index's first finish below the 15,000 threshold since Sept. 6. Just one of the Dow's components -- Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- closed higher, up 0.5%. Boeing (NYSE:BA) paced the 29 decliners, shedding 2.2%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,678.66) spent the entire session in the red, bottoming out close to noon at 1,670.36. By the closing bell, the index had logged a loss of 15.2 points, or 0.9%. Slightly underperforming was the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3,774.34), which swallowed a loss of 40.7 points, or 1.1%.
The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX - 17.67) spiked to an intraday peak of 18.71, notching its highest reading since late June. The market's "fear gauge" pared some of these gains into the close, settling up 1.1 points, or 6.5%.
A Trader's Take:
"Despite the very uncertain situation, it seems like the market has been pretty resilient," observed Bell. "We continue to see buying on the dips throughout the day and the market once again rebounded today after a lot of early selling. Unfortunately, we still seem to be stuck in a bit of congestion here, as too many buyers seem to be waiting on a resolution or some clarity from Washington."
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