In Washington, the day-long story of the ongoing impasse between congressional Republicans and Democrats over funding the government ended inconclusively on Tuesday evening, leaving the prospects for a deal on funding the government this week to open up further for debate.
For much of the day on Wall Street, the skittishness over Washington’s stalemate was at least somewhat offset by strong gains for the price of oil, sending energy stocks sharply higher.
As the day wore on, however, the risk that a continuing resolution would lead to another shutdown of the federal government was gaining strength. Investors grew less optimistic about the potential for a deal in time for the federal government to reopen before the end of the day on Friday.
And that led to a broadly deflated day on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 157 points, or 0.7 percent, and the broader S&P 500 fell by nearly the same amount. The Nasdaq Composite dropped another 0.8 percent.
The prospect of further disruption in Washington over the nation’s finances, as well as a widely expected increase in interest rates, was making a dent in the stock market.