U.S. stocks declined, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropping to the lowest level in a month, as lawmakers remained in disagreement over extending the nation’s debt limit to avoid a default.
The S&P 500 fell 0.9% to 1,676.12 at 4 p.m. in New York, the lowest since Sept. 9. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 136.34 points, or 0.9%, to 14,936.24.
“The volume is very light so I do think investors are trying to feel their way through this,” Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Inc., said to Bloomberg in a phone interview from Greenwood, South Carolina. He helps manage $950 million. “Each day that it goes by without any type of solution or any hope of a solution, the market gets more and more concerned about what the ultimate outcome is.”
Markets were calm, as many investors have been holding back from making big portfolio changes, traders said. Total composite trading volume was the lowest since the Friday before the Labor Day holiday weekend and the ninth lowest full day this year.
“Were not getting massive panic selling,” said for The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner with brokerage firm Meridian Equity Partners. “Investors are just waiting for opportunities.”
In corporate news, Banks experienced significant losses.The KBW Bank Index sank 1.9% as all its 24 members retreated. Bank of America dropped 1.7% to $13.81. Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. home lender, lost 1.7% to $40.62.
Apple added 1% to $487.75. Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies, raised the stock’s rating to “buy” from “hold”, citing suppliers becoming more lenient on price.
Time Warner Cable Inc. sank 1.6% to $111.02. The second-largest U.S. cable company agreed to buy fiber-optic network provider DukeNet Communications LLC for a deal of $600 million in cash. Time Warner Cable plans to use DukeNet to expand its business services in seven Southeastern states.
BlackBerry rose 28 cents, or 3.6%, to $7.97, after reports were issued that several technology companies are looking at the smartphone maker for a potential takeover.
Intuitive Surgical Inc. gained 4.6%, the most in the S&P 500, to $380.99. The maker of robot surgery devices is seeing many general surgeons adapting to the company’s da Vinci system, according to Ben Andrew, an analyst with William Blair & Co. who attended the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association meeting in Washington.