Dow Jones Today: Debt Ceiling Delay Drags Down Index

Stocks fell for a second straight day as negotiations on the debt ceiling continued, with 3M and Boeing helping lead shares lower

Close-up of logo for American conglomerate 3M on roll of tape.

Smith Collection / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • 3M shares fall after the Dutch government found it liable for chemical releases.
  • UnitedHealth Group moved higher after a big buy from an institutional investor. 
  • Chevron moved higher after fears OPEC may cut oil production.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for a second straight day, slipping almost 0.8%, or 255 points, as investors nervously eyed debt ceiling talks in Washington.

The debt ceiling debate in Washington has turned to spending, and whether there will be the spending freeze that Democrats want, or the spending cuts that Republicans are seeking. Deliberations weighed on stocks broadly, sending the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 lower 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively.

3M (MMM) was the Dow’s worst performer, falling 3.7% after the Dutch government said it would hold the company liable for releasing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), so-called forever chemicals, into the Dutch portion of the Scheldt river.

Boeing (BA) fell 1.6% a day after CEO Dave Calhoun said he expects supply chain pressures to continue into 2024.

Microsoft (MSFT) warned that Chinese state-sponsored hackers had penetrated U.S. infrastructure. Shares of the software giant fell 0.5%.

Salesforce (CRM) led a small group of winning stocks, rising 1.5%. Shares of the company, which is expected to report higher profits and revenue when it reports earnings next week, have gained more than 50% so far this year, more than any other Dow stock.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed up 0.7% after institutional investor GlobeFlex Capital, LP revealed it had increased its holdings of the stock by 68%.

Chevron (CVX) rose 0.3% alongside oil prices, making energy the day's best-performing sector. Yesterday Saudi Arabia's energy minister told oil speculators to "watch out" before next month's OPEC+ meeting, raising concerns the cartel could cut oil production again.

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