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Nervousness abounds as markets tumble

| Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

NEW YORK — Investors sent the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its lowest close in a month Monday as few signs emerged of a deal to end the U.S. government shutdown and raise the nation's borrowing limit.

Senate Democrats moved to introduce legislation to raise the nation's debt limit without the unrelated conditions Republicans have said they are seeking. The White House signaled it would accept even a brief extension in borrowing authority to prevent an unprecedented default by the United States.

On Sunday, speaker John Boehner ruled out a vote in the House of Representatives on a straightforward bill to increase the government's borrowing without concessions from President Obama.

Lawmakers have until Oct. 17 to reach a deal on increasing the nation's debt ceiling. Failure to strike a deal could cause the United States to miss payments on its debt. The Treasury warned last week that a default could push the economy into a downturn even worse than the Great Recession.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 14.38 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,676.12. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 136.34 points, or 0.9 percent, to 14,936.24. The Nasdaq composite fell 37.38 points, or 1 percent, to 3,770.38.

The losses were broad. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 dropped. Phone companies were the only sector to advance.

Until now, the stock market has mostly moved sideways since the shutdown began at the start of the month, indicating that investors still expect lawmakers to come up with a deal.

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