Stocks slide as investors wait on Washington


FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, file photo, specialists Amanda Anderson and Bradley Kessler work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The mood in financial markets remained cautious Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, as U.S. politicians remained at loggerheads over how to solve the budget crisis that has raised fears of a possible U.S. debt default. (AP Photo/Richard Drew. File)


NEW YORK — The stock market is closing sharply lower as budget gridlock in Washington brings the U.S. closer to a default on its debt.

The impasse over the government shutdown and raising the country’s borrowing limit showed no signs of breaking today.

House Republicans have insisted that any temporary funding bill contain concessions on President Obama’s health care law.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed down 20 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 1,655.45. It was the 11th loss in the last 14 days, and the index’s biggest drop in six weeks.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 159 points, or 1.1 percent, to 14,776.53.

The Nasdaq composite fell 75 points, or 2 percent, to 3,694.83, also the largest drop in six weeks.