Closing Update: Stocks Finish Lower as Congress Struggles With Debt-Ceiling, Budget Proposals
Stocks closed lower Tuesday, finishing near their lows for the session and snapping a four-day winning streak as Congress continues to wrangle over terms to extend the nation's borrowing authority and end the partial government shutdown. House Republicans reportedly are planning a vote later tonight on a proposal, although it is far from certain the measure has sufficient support to win passage. Senate leadership also has been working on compromise legislation, although that measure apparently has been on hold until a House deal emerges.
A fresh slate of financial results helped provide a much-needed distraction to the fiscal discord in Washington. Citigroup ( C ) ended lower today after posting earnings and revenue lagging both year-ago comparisons and analyst projections. Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) close slightly higher after beating consensus opinion with its latest EPS and sales. The healthcare conglomerate also increased its FY13 guidance.
Economic data today included the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, which fell to a 1.52 reading in October, down from a 6.29 score during the prior month and trailing Wall Street expectations for a small rise to 7.0. Also today, sales for larger retailers as measured by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs fell a larger-than-expected 0.7% from last week although year-over-year sales were up 1%.
Commodities were mostly lower. Crude oil for November delivery settled $1.20 lower at $101.21 per barrel while November natural gas is fell 3 cents to $3.79 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell $3.30 to finish at $1,273.30 per ounce while December silver slid 16 cents to $21.19 per ounce. December copper rose a penny, settling at $3.31 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 133.25 (-0.87%) to 15,168.01
S&P 500 down 12.08 (-0.71%) to 1,698.06
Nasdaq Composite Index down 21.26 (-0.56%) to 3,794.01
Hang Seng Index up 0.51%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.19%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.64%
(+) TSLA, Wedbush upgrade to Outperform from Neutral; price target raised by 33% to $240 a share.
(+) TUC, Agrees to $524-million buyout by CSC Serviceworks.
(+) NVGN, Seeking Alpha article labels the pharmaceutical company "the most exciting idea in biotech."
(-) SVNT, Drug-maker files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
(-) CWTR, Warns Q3 earnings will miss expectations and says the company is exploring strategic alternatives.
(-) TDC, Issues disappointing earnings forecasts, prompting a rash of analyst downgrades from Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and William Blair.