Wall Street in the red for third day in a row

US shares have fallen again, pressured by worries over the imminent deadline for US Congress to avoid a government shutdown.

The S&P 500 bobbed around the 1700-mark today, after dropping 0.4%. Into the last half an hour of trading on Wall Street, the Dow was down 0.33% at 15,399.

Investors are started to show nerves over the upcoming cut-off date for politicians in Washington to secure funding in order to prevent a government shutdown. The US fiscal year ends on 30 September and unless a budget can be agreed by Congress for the next fiscal year, all but essential government services will grind to a halt. With US economic progress still looking slightly shaky, a politically-manufactured crisis is far from ideal.

Today’s flash PMI manufacturing gave a reading of 52.8 for September, down from July’s mid-month reading of 53.9. This suggests that growth is slowing, with new orders looking especially soft, which is something of a surprise after the big jump seen in the Philly Fed manufacturing survey last Thursday. The output component of the PMI did show strength, but overall this is a disappointing economic report and doesn’t strengthen the case for a taper in the Fed’s stimulus next month.

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