FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
Wall Street took a beating on Wednesday as traders shrugged off signs of budget progress in Washington, D.C. and locked in 2013 gains ahead of next week's Fed meeting.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) fell 130 points, or 0.81%, to 15844, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:GSPC) fell 20.4 points, or 1.1%, to 1782 and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:IXIC) slid 56.7 points, or 1.4%, to 4004.
It's been a fairly quiet week on Wall Street, with no major economic reports out. That gave traders cover to lock-in gains from this year before the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting next week. Volatility, as tracked by the CBOE's VIX, surged 10% to its highest level in two months.
However, lawmakers on Capitol Hill could shake things up. Leaders in the House and Senate crafted a two-year budget deal that would stave off another government shutdown in January. The pact would need to be approved by both chambers.
Still, Peter Boockvar, chief market strategist at The Lindsey Group, said investors are somewhat numb to action in the nation's capital.
"The yawn of a response in markets to the budget deal, which still has to get passed, points to two things," he wrote in an email. "Number one, it was extremely modest and two, markets assumed we wouldn’t repeat October."
On the corporate front, MasterCard (NYSE:MA) revealed a 10-for-one stock split and boosted its dividend by 83%. Shares of the credit card processor rallied on the news.
In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures slipped 8 cents, or 0.09%, to $98.42 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.88% to $2.659 a gallon. Gold dropped $6.60, or 0.52%, to $1,254 a troy ounce.