A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
UNDATED (AP) - The budget battle in Washington is reminding investors that the next few weeks could bring a lot of uncertainty.
As a result, stocks fell in an afternoon sell-off Friday that wiped out most of the gains from a rally earlier in the week, when the Federal Reserve decided to keep its huge economic stimulus program intact.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 185 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 15,451. That was 225 points below its all-time closing high reached Sept. 18 after the Fed's announcement.
The S&P 500 index lost 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,709. All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell, led lower by telecom companies and utilities.
The Nasdaq composite was down 14 points
The debt ceiling must be raised by Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown, and a potential default on payments, including debt, later in the month.
The threat of a default in August 2011 helped send global stock markets into a tailspin.
Chinese stocks rise as manufacturing gathers pace
BANGKOK (AP) - Mainland Chinese stocks edged up Monday after a survey showed manufacturing in the world's No.2 economy rose to a six-month high last month. Stock markets were subdued elsewhere in Asia.
A survey by HSBC Corp., released Monday, showed factory output in China for September grew at its fastest rate in six months.
A powerful storm forced Hong Kong markets to shutter while Japan's stock market was closed for a public holiday.
Other Asian stocks were mixed.
Benchmark crude oil fell slightly and remained under $105 per barrel. The dollar gained slightly against the euro and fell against the yen.