US stocks fell yesterday and the S&P 500 put in a fifth day of losses, its worst losing streak since the end of 2012, on jitters funding for the federal government would run out and after a drop in shares of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores.
Investors worried about two looming Washington deadlines: action by a deeply divided Congress to pass stop-gap funding for federal agencies and to raise the federal borrowing limit to avoid a debt default by the United States.
The Senate took up the funding measure after a Tea-Party-backed Republican Senator Ted Cruz held the bill up with a 21-hour-long attack against Obamacare. A government shutdown could begin with the new fiscal year that begins on 1 October unless funds are authorised.
Shares of Wal-Mart added to early afternoon losses on the Dow and S&P 500 after a Bloomberg report that Wal-Mart was cutting orders to its suppliers for this quarter and next. The stock retraced some of its losses after the company called the report inaccurate and ended down 1.5 per cent at $74.65.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 61.33 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 15,273.26. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 4.65 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 1,692.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.16 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 3,761.10.
J.C. Penney Co tumbled to a 13-year low of $9.94, and Carnival Corp shares fell 5.3 per cent to $32.70. Facebook shares rose 2.1 per cent to $49.46, after brokerage upgrades.