STOCKS TANK, DOW LOSES 136 POINTS: Here's What You Need To Know

It’s day three of the U.S. government shutdown.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 14,996.4, -136.6, -0.9%
  • S&P 500: 1,678.6, -15.2, -0.9%
  • NASDAQ: 3,774.3, -40.6, -1.0%

And now the top stories:

  • Shortly after 2 p.m. ET, gunshots were heard outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. Multiple people were reportedly injured. The story is developing.
  • Congress has yet to make a deal that would get the government back online and federal employees off of their furloughs. All of this appears to be affecting the American consumer. Today, Gallup’s daily economic confidence index fell 5 points to -32. This is the lowest level since August 2012. An increasing percentage of survey respondents are saying that the economic outlook is “getting worse.”
  • Earlier today, we learned that initial jobless claims ticked up to just 308,000 from 307,000 a week ago. This was much lower than the 315,000 economists were looking for. The four-week moving average fell to 305,000, which is the lowest level since May 2007. “While the decline in jobless filings is certainly an improvement, we find it worth highlighting that the data only sheds light on the layoff side of the labour equation, doing little to provide much insight about actual hiring intentions,” noted TD Securities Gennadiy Goldberg. “Other surveys such as the recently much-improved NFIB hiring plans index show businesses intending to hire more employees, suggesting that the combination of lower claims and improved hiring intentions could lead any new job creation to more easily translate into labour market slack absorption.”
  • Economists warn, however, that claims will likely spike in the near-term as furloughed government workers head to the unemployment office.
  • The ISM services index fell to 54.4 in September from 58.6 in August. This was worse than the 57.0 level expected by economists. Among other things, businesses revealed the impact that Washington’s budget fiasco was having. Here’s ISM regarding public administration services: “The federal government’s spending is increasing greatly as agencies execute their final budgets and utilise fiscal year 2013 appropriated funds prior to their expiration on September 30th. This has caused a major increase in procurement activity for goods and services. Budgets are uncertain for fiscal year 2014, so some items requiring funding in future years are not being purchased.”
  • Don’t Miss: AMERICA OUT OF GAS: Haunting Images From The 1973 Oil Crisis »
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