* Obama to meet with congressional leaders as shutdown
extends to second day
* Blackberry shares rise on possible Cerberus bidding
* Indexes down: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Oct 2 Wall Street retreated on
Wednesday, the second day of a partial U.S. government shutdown,
as political wrangling in Washington raised investor concerns
that the stoppage could be prolonged.
Adding to worries, a report showed private employers added
fewer-than-expected jobs in September. Investors were looking
for more guidance from this data because Friday's broader,
government payrolls report will be delayed if no deal on the
budget is reached by then.
Losses were across the board, led by stocks in the
industrial sector, which fell 0.4 percent.
The shutdown fight is rapidly merging with a higher-stakes
battle over the government's borrowing power that is expected to
come to a head soon. The Treasury has said the United States
will exhaust its borrowing authority no later than Oct. 17.
"I wouldn't call the market's decline today a panic. But the
longer this (shutdown) goes on, and the more headlines shift
towards the Oct. 17 deadline, investors are becoming more and
more concerned," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist for
Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial Inc.
"As impossible as it seems, investors are thinking that
there might now be a possibility of a default."
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 58.56
points, or 0.39 percent, at 15,133.14. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 1.13 points, or 0.07 percent, at
1,693.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.96
points, or 0.08 percent, at 3,815.02.
Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama planned to
meet in the White House at 5:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) on Wednesday to
discuss the budget impasse and raising the U.S. debt limit.
Among individual stocks, the possibility of a second offer
for Blackberry Ltd reversed a slide in its
stock price after the struggling smartphone maker said it
expected to record $400 million in pre-tax charges related to
cuts announced last month. The stock ended up 0.3 percent to
$78.06 after falling to a 11-month low earlier of $77.28.
Despite the recent declines, buyers have come in as the S&P
approached its 50-day moving average of 1,679.99. The moving
average represents a measure of the near-term trend in the
market and often investors will buy in clusters at such levels.
The CBOE Volatility index, used to measure investor
anxiety, rose 6.8 percent to 16.60. The index has gained more
than 25 percent over the past two weeks.
Trading volume totaled about 5.3 billion shares on the New
York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, below the
average daily closing volume of about 6.3 billion this year.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing stocks by about 16
to 13 on the New York Stock Exchange while on the Nasdaq,
decliners beat advancers by about 3 to 2.