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Stocks Tumble as Brinkmanship Continues

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Stocks Tumble as Brinkmanship Continues

Stocks in the US again got off to a soft note, with futures pointing to a lower open. Equity market participants continue to be plague by a government shutdown which seems to be rolling into the debt ceiling debate. Asian stocks were unchanged on Thursday helping US stocks remain somewhat buoyed on the heels of solid Chinese manufacturing data. China’s official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a six-month high of 55.4 in September from 53.9 in August, according to China Federation of Logistics. The Dow Industrials were down more than 180 points at the low of the session but settled down 136 points.

In corporate news, Constellation Brands reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.96, vs. the analyst consensus of $0.88 per share. Sales were $1.46 billion dollars, vs. expectations of $1.52 billion. For fiscal year 2014, the company expects earnings per share of $2.80 to $3.10 per share.

After rallying off of support and giving metals and mining company’s a boost on Wednesday, gold prices corrected, taking the sector lower. Gold futures pulled back, after adding almost 3% to their value in Wednesday’s session when after a weaker than expected ADP jobs report send the greenback lower, encouraging purchases from holders of international currency. Renewed safe haven demand also contributed to the upside. Gold futures were last down 0.93% at $1,308.40 per ounce.

In economic news on Thursday, Initial claims increased by 1,000 to 308,000 in the week ended Sept. 28, according to the Labor Department. Economists had forecast 314,000 new claims would be filed. The four-week moving average of claims fell by 3,750 to 305,000. Later in the session the Institute of Supply management released a worse than expected services index.

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