The stock market was whipsawed Tuesday as the on-again, off-again talk of a debt deal in Washington made investors wonder just how pessimistic they should be.
Stocks were flat or down all day, but the size of the losses waxed and waned depending on which politician was giving a press conference. The market closed with its first loss in a week, with the Dow Jones industrials down 133 points. Yields on short-term government debt rose sharply as investors worried about the possibility of a default.
Indexes were down only slightly early Tuesday, when Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate reported that a deal over increasing the nation’s borrowing limit appeared to be getting closer. But after House Republicans came up with their own competing plan later in the day, and it was rejected by Democrats, stocks fell further.
The stakes are high and the deadline is getting nearer. Unless the borrowing limit is raised, the U.S. will bump up against a Thursday deadline after which it can no longer borrow money to pay its bills, which could lead to a default on government debt. That possibility has rattled markets all month.
After markets closed, Fitch Ratings said it might downgrade the government’s AAA bond rating. The agency said it sees a higher risk for default because of the uncertainty over whether Congress will raise the debt limit. Fitch said it will make a final decision by the end of March at the latest, depending on how long any agreement to raise the debt ceiling lasts.
It was clear that traders were hanging on every word out of Washington. The losses on the Dow shrank by about 40 points during a short press conference by House Speaker John Boehner shortly before noon Eastern.
Another reason for Wall Street’s pessimism is that any deal reached this week might simply set up another showdown a few months down the road.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 133.25 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15,168.01. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 12.08 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,698.06. The Nasdaq composite fell 21.26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,794.01.
The losses were broad. All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell and three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners, a New York-based investment management group, said he thinks there will be a deal, but that investors are making a mistake to focus on it so heavily since the economy still has so many risks. Investors aren’t appreciating the risk of poor economic reports, slow profit growth and the possibility of flare-ups in conflicts with Iran and Syria, which could cause a spike in energy prices.
“There’s a lot more risk to the downside,” Landesman said. “I don’t think things are that robust out there.”
Among stocks making big moves:
— FedEx shareholders were happy about expanded stock buybacks. FedEx’s stock rose $4.71, or 4 percent, to $120.08.
— Charles Schwab rose $1.02, almost 5 percent, to $23.03 after the brokerage company said its quarter profit rose 19 percent as trading and interest revenue increased.
— Advertising company Omnicom Group reported adjusted results and revenue that were higher than analysts had expected. Its stock rose $1.01, almost 2 percent, to $64.96.
Parts of the bond market have started to show signs of stress.
The yield on the 10-year T-note rose to 2.73 percent from 2.69 percent on Friday. Bond trading was closed Monday for Columbus Day. Yields on three-month and six-month T-bills also rose.
The yield on the one-month T-bill nearly doubled in only a few hours, going from 0.18 percent early Tuesday to 0.34 percent by the afternoon. It’s considered to be the T-bill most likely to be affected by a federal government default. Money market funds owned by Fidelity and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have been selling off their one-month T-bill holdings to limit their exposure to the security.
The price of oil fell $1.20 to close at $101.21 as negotiations over Iran’s nuclear abilities began.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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