Dow pares gains

US shares have retreated from their highs late in the New York trading session, but remain in positive territory.

With half an hour to its close, the Dow was trading up 27 points at 15,157, having given up most of its gains for the day.

I would class any kind of measured movement as being a good move, though, as there was the potential for the market to react in a volatile manner to the partial government shutdown, but today’s behaviour shows that there is no sense of alarm amongst investors so far.

Although the consensus view seems to be that the shutdown will not last for an extended period, the inability of Congress to reach agreement over this issue does not set an encouraging precedent for the upcoming debt-ceiling debate, where bitter partisanship is likely to prove an obstacle once more.

The NASDAQ 100 has had a strong day in spite of everything, advancing 0.8% to 3244, helped by a 2.1% rise in Apple. The iPhone-maker was trading near its high of the day after billionaire investor Carl Icahn tweeted ‘Had a cordial dinner with Tim [Cook] last night. We pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback. We decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks.’

Tomorrow we have the ADP employment report, which may take on added importance with Friday’s non-farm payrolls report caught up in the government shutdown.

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