Wall Street Slips as Small Business Confidence Slumps


FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets dipped on Tuesday after a measure of small business confidence hit a seven-month low.

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Today's Markets

As of 3:02 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.3 points, or 0.16%, to 15757, the S&P 500 dipped 3.5 points, or 0.2%, to 1768 and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.92 point, or 0.02%, to 3919.

Small businesses are a key part of the American economy -- consistently creating jobs and output. The National Federation of Independent Business's measure of small business confidence slumped to 91.6 in October from 93.9 the month before, "largely due to a precipitous decline in hiring plans and expectations for future small-business conditions."

"Washington paralysis is never good news for the economy, so it was no surprise that while politicians were arguing over whether or not the government should remain fully operational, small-business optimism measures deteriorated," said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg, in the report.

Elsewhere, News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), the former parent of FOX Business, posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that missed expectations after the closing bell Monday. Results from Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) are due out after the closing bell Tuesday.

On the global front, China's Third Plenum, which is a meeting in which the new government there sets its goals for the next decade, has reportedly concluded. Economists are widely expecting some levels of new reforms in the world's No. 2 economy.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 38 cents, or 0.4%, to $94.76 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.18% to $2.60 a gallon. In metals, gold edged up by 70 cents, or 0.05%, to $1,282 a troy ounce.

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