Wall Street was leaden-footed on Wednesday as investors monitored discussions in Washington over prospects for raising of the United States debt ceiling.
In early trading, the three main indexes — Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite — were 0.1 percent lower.
The government will reach its borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, by Tuesday. If Congress does not raise that limit, the government will not be able to pay all its bills, possibly shaking confidence in the economy, the world’s biggest.
That leaves just days for the White House and Republican lawmakers, who disagree on spending cuts and other important budget issues, to reach a compromise. Republicans are demanding that any increase must result in expenditure cuts of an equal amount. President Obama is demanding a debt-limit increase with no conditions attached….