A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
Traders are bracing for the possibility that when the stock markets reopen today, none of the various elements of the budget battle in Washington will have been resolved.
Stocks fell Friday for the sixth day out of the last seven, and ended the week with a decline. Investors focused on the risk that the government could shut down tomorrow unless Congress agrees to a new spending bill. And even if that hurdle is cleared, the dispute is poised to continue into the middle of October as lawmakers debate raising the nation's borrowing limit.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 70 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 15,258 on Friday. The S&P 500 index fell seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,691 and the Nasdaq composite was down six points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,781.