New York Report: Stocks fall for a fourth straight session in US

THE DOW and S&P 500 ended lower yesterday, extending their recent slide to a fourth session as worries over a possible US government shutdown added to investor caution.

Although uncertainty remains over the Federal Reserve’s intentions to scale back its stimulus since its decision last week to leave its current programme unchanged, some of the focus for now has turned to Capitol Hill.

Tea Party-backed US senators, threatening to stall a bill to fund the US government, ran into a wall of resistance from top Senate Republicans.

The market’s recent losses mark the longest losing streak since last month for the S&P 500, which has been down every session since rallying 1.2 per cent last Wednesday on the Fed announcement.

“We sort of had that blowup day to the upside after the Fed announcement, and in the absence of any economic validation to support the market going higher, it suggests we’re waiting for some macro event,” said Mark Luschini of Janney Montgomery Scott.

JP Morgan Chase fell 2.2 per cent to $50.32 and shares of Wells Fargo dropped 1.4 per cent to $41.73. A federal judge rejected Wells Fargo’s bid to dismiss a US government lawsuit accusing the nation’s largest mortgage lender of fraud.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 66.79 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 15,334.59. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 4.42 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 1,697.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.97 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 3,768.25.