comments_image Comments

US stocks fall as government shutdown looms

A specialist works at the Barclays post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange just after the closing bell July 24, 2013
A specialist works at the Barclays post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange just after the closing bell July 24, 2013.

US stocks Monday retreated as a partial US government shutdown loomed due to Washington political gridlock over a new budget.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 128.57 points (0.84 percent) to 15,129.67.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 10.20 (0.60 percent) to 1,681.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 10.12 (0.27 percent) at 3,771.48.

Stocks were in the red all day, but losses moderated as some investors hoped a last-minute compromise might avert the shutdown, slated for midnight Monday.

"We've seen this movie before and we know it ends," said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth Management. "Lots of drama, lots of excitement, and at the end, they kick the can down the road once again."

Several leading consumer-goods equities fell after European peer Unilever warned of weakening sales in "many" emerging market countries. Dow component Procter & Gamble lost 2.1 percent, Colgate-Palmolive fell 1.1 percent and Kimberly-Clark dipped 0.7 percent.

Some technology stocks faltered, including Oracle (-1.8 percent), Facebook (-2.0 percent) and Apple (-1.2 percent).

But Microsoft was flat and Cisco gained 0.4 percent.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals rose 2.4 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its valuation target following a favorable presentation regarding its eylea drug at this weekend's Retina Society meeting. Eylea treats diabetic macular edema.

Achillon Pharmaceuticals plummeted 58.3 percent after announcing that the Food and Drug Administration decided to maintain its "clinical hold" on its sovaprevir treatment for the chronic hepatitis C virus. Achillon said it would continue to work with the FDA to try to progress the drug.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held flat compared with Friday at 2.62 percent, while the 30-year inched to 3.69 percent from 3.68 percent. Prices and yields move inversely.

Share