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Politics burdens stocks

Investors were wringing their hands Monday morning over the latest wrangling in Washington, and in between, did a fair bit of selling.

The Dow Jones Industrials plunged 121.83 points to break for lunch at 15,136.40

The S&P 500 index faded 7.68 points to 1,684.07. The NASDAQ fell 9.71 points to 3,771.88

Despite Monday's slide, the three major indexes are still up between 15% and 24% for the year. The Dow and S&P 500 are up over 3% in September alone, and hit record highs just two weeks ago. All three indexes are up for the quarter, led by the NASDAQ, which has risen 11%.

Shares of Apple dropped more than 1% ahead of CEO Tim Cook's anticipated lunch meeting with activist investor Carl Icahn.

Social media stocks Facebook, Zynga, and LinkedIn fell Monday.

There is increased chatter that Twitter may file its financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, although it's not clear if that will happen if the government shuts down.

Some investors believe that Twitter's upcoming initial public offering could steal some momentum from other social media stocks since it is assumed that Twitter's growth will be very strong.

J.C. Penney dipped sharply Monday morning before bouncing back. The retailer, which has been hemorrhaging money, announced last Friday that it had raised roughly $810 million through a public offering. Shares are trading near lows not hit since late 2000.

Prices for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were lower, boosting yields to 2.63% from Friday's 2.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices ducked back 97 cents to $101.90 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gave back $8.30 at $1,330.90 U.S. an ounce.


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