Stock market falls at midday as investors look ahead to U.S. budget fight


Trader F. Hill Creekmore works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. The stock market hit a record high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its economic stimulus in place. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


NEW YORK — The stock market is falling at midday as investors wait for more clarity from the Federal Reserve and look ahead to a budget fight in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62 points to 15,574 at noon today. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped six points to 1,715. The Nasdaq eased five points to 3,783.

The Fed this week shocked markets by leaving in place its bond-buying program. Fed officials are giving speeches today.

Investors are looking ahead to a budget fight in Washington. To keep the government running, Congress must pass a short-term spending bill before the fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Darden, the parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, fell $2.82, or 6 percent, to $46.50 after reporting lower quarterly profit.