November 29, 2023

US stocks drop as possible government shutdown adds to angst


Wall Street stocks fell sharply on Thursday as worries about a potential US government shutdown added to angst over lofty interest rates.

Far-right members of the House of Representatives have so far blocked key spending bills in Congress, adding to the chance of a government shutdown after midnight on September 30.

The congressional stalemate “adds uncertainty” for investors, said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

That comes on top of worries about interest rates after the Federal Reserve opened the door to additional rate hikes, O’Hare said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 1.1 percent at 34,070.42.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.6 percent to 4,330.00, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.8 percent to 13,223.98.

While the losses left all 11 S&P 500 sectors in the red, large cap companies were especially weak. Amazon shares dropped 4.4 percent, Google parent Alphabet lost 2.4 percent and Tesla shed 2.6 percent.

Cybersecurity company Splunk shot up 20.8 percent after it announced an agreement to be acquired by Cisco, which fell 3.9 percent.

San Francisco-based Splunk is a software platform that uses artificial intelligence to help users dig through data in real time to identify malware and cyber threats.

FedEx jumped 4.5 percent after easily topping earnings estimates as the transport company said it was “well-positioned to continue to deliver improved profitability.”

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