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Investors wait for Washington to get act together

Investors wait for Washington to get act together

POSTED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 9:13am

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 8:07am

Investors moved to the sidelines Tuesday as they waited for developments in Washington and digested a batch of earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell 0.4% in early morning trading while the Nasdaq also slipped slightly.

Senate leaders have said they have made "tremendous progress" toward an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt limit, but investors are taking a cautious approach. Even if the Senate gets a deal, it still needs to win support in the House of Representatives, which is far from certain. And there were reports Tuesday morning that the House may push a separate bill.

On the earnings front, Citigroup was the latest big bank to disappoint investors. The company reported third quarter profits and revenues that fell short of analysts' expectations, sending shares lower. The bank noted that the spike in interest rates over the summer caused a slowdown in new mortgages and refinancings, as well as bond trading.

Coca-Col shares rose after the beverage maker reported an increase in its third-quarter profit, as global sales volume rose 2%. Johnson & Johnson shares also rose after the company reported gains in quarterly sales and profit.

Yahoo and Intel are set to report in the afternoon.

World markets: European markets were pushing higher in afternoon trading. Alastair McCaig, market strategist for IG in London, said he was surprised that European stocks were up given "the sorry shenanigans of Washington."

Though the broader market was higher, shares of Burberry fell nearly 6% in London after the fashion company announced its CEO -- Angela Ahrendts -- would be leaving for the top retail job at Apple.

Most major Asian markets ended the day with modest gains.

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If the domino effect of debt default begins at midnight Thursday, every single House repub, whether a tea party anarchist or a spineless traditionalist, should be brought up on charges of sedition, brought to trial, and serve prison time for sending this country over the fiscal cliff. I will personally start the petition to make this happen...East Texans may think they're well represented by gomer and teddy, but these are temissaries of the devil himself, and they will laugh as you go down.

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