* Government shutdown enters second day; no end in sight
* ADP report shows fewer jobs added in Sept than expected
* Monsanto drops after fourth-quarter loss, lower outlook
* Indexes down: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Oct 2 U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as
a partial government shutdown in Washington entered a second
day, adding to concerns over how soon a political compromise
would be reached.
There were few signs that Congress was making progress in
agreeing on a spending bill that would reopen operations. The
Democratic-led U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to kill Republicans'
latest attempts to modify an emergency funding bill, and sent a
"clean" measure back to the House of Representatives that would
extend funding for government agencies until Nov.
Up to 1 million government workers remained on unpaid leave
Wednesday as a result of the closure, with a fight over
President Barack Obama's healthcare law at the center of the
Market participants are also watching the situation for an
indication of how an impending debate on the debt ceiling might
play out. That issue is considered far more important for the
economy, as it could result in an unprecedented debt default if
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said late Tuesday the
Treasury had started using its final tools to push back the date
of when the government will run out of legal borrowing
"We hope they can resolve it and also make progress on
negotiating the debt ceiling, but no one knows for sure. So the
market is left to swing from bouts of optimism like we saw
yesterday, to bouts of pessimism today," said Bruce McCain,
chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland,
The shutdown's impact on economic growth and market
volatility will likely increase the longer it continues.
McCain estimated that if the shutdown were to last 21 days,
as the previous one did, "that would trim a quarter of the 2.5
percent annualized growth rate we saw last quarter. That isn't
an insurmountable hurdle, but it would hurt."
All ten S&P 500 sectors were lower, with material stocks
the weakest, off 0.8 percent. Chemical maker OM Group
fell 4.1 percent to $32.68 while Alcoa Inc lost
2.2 percent to $7.99. Alcoa was also pressured by a downgrade by
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 105.77
points, or 0.70 percent, at 15,085.93. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 9.75 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,685.25.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 15.31 points, or
0.40 percent, at 3,802.67.
Equities have been volatile recently, with the CBOE
Volatility index spiking more than 25 percent over the
past two weeks. However, the S&P has found support at its 50-day
moving average of 1,679.78.
Wall Street has managed to avoid steep declines during
similar federal government closures in the past. During a
shutdown from Dec. 15, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1996, the S&P 500 added
0.1 percent. During the Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, 1995, shutdown, the
benchmark index rose 1.3 percent.
Data released Wednesday by a payrolls processor showed U.S.
private employers added 166,000 jobs in September, below
expectations for 180,000 jobs. Investors may place more weight
than usual on the report as government data will not be released
during the shutdown. Friday's key payroll report will be delayed
if no deal is reached by then.
Monsanto Co reported a fourth-quarter loss that was
wider than expected, and offered a reduced outlook for 2014 even
as it said it was positioned for strong growth next year. Shares
fell 2.7 percent to $102.21.