Stocks fell Wednesday for a fifth consecutive session, as the lack of progress in Washington threatened a government shutdown in six days and shares of retail giant Wal-Mart fell.
In U.S. economic news, orders for durable goods barely grew in August in a possible sign that companies are delaying investment spending. A second report showed sales of new single-family homes rose in August but were near their lowest levels this year because of higher mortgage rates.
The U.S. dollar fell versus the euro and the yen. Light sweet crude for November delivery fell nearly 50 cents to close below $103 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures rose to about $1,335 an ounce.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 61.33, or 0.4 percent, to 15,273.26. Twenty-four of the index’s 30 components fell. Wal-Mart lost almost 1.5 percent, after a report by Bloomberg News that it was cutting orders to its suppliers for this quarter and next. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4.65, or 0.3 percent, to 1,692.77.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 7.15, or 0.2 percent, to 3,761.10. Facebook shares rose 1.6 percent after several brokerage upgrades. Yahoo shares rose slightly on reports that Chinese internet company Alibaba is proceeding with an initial public offering (IPO) of stock. Yahoo is one of Alibaba’s biggest shareholders.