U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Monday on Wall Street as investors braced for a potential government shutdown.
The Dow Jones industrial average was off more than 150 points, or about 1%, in early trading after being down more than 170 points at the open. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index was off 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite was down 1%.
Markets are under pressure as a budget battle in Washington threatens the first government shutdown in 17 years. Congress has until a midnight deadline to avert the crisis.
Despite the fact that Wall Street has gone through prior budget battles in recent years, the chronic inability of lawmakers to compromise on fiscal matters and their tendency to squabble right up to key deadlines has investors on edge once again. It is also causing volatility to spike.
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