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New York City (AFP) – U.S. stocks fell Wednesday as the reality of the government shutdown depressed markets and raised concerns about the possibility of a U.S. debt default due to political gridlock.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62.80 (0.41 percent) to 15,128.90.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.45 (0.09 percent) to 1,693.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 2.96 (0.08 percent) at 3,815.02.

The losses Wednesday were a reversal from Tuesday, when U.S. stocks advanced on hopes that the shutdown would be short-lived.

But “hearing some of the rhetoric floating around, it has been pretty clear that both sides were pretty entrenched in their stances and that something was not going to get done within a day or two,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.

James said it is still more likely Congress and the White House will agree to raise the debt ceiling later in October.

But “with things as acrimonious as they are in Washington right now, nothing would surprise me,” James added. “There is going to be a lot of uncertainty and uncertainty usually breeds selling.”


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