dow jones, government shutdown
The Dow teetered on Thursday as a confluence of bearish factors – including a looming government shutdown – spooked Wall Street. | Source: Shutterstock

By U.S. stocks declined sharply on Tuesday, as Democrats wasted little time talking down President Trump’s new proposal to end the government shutdown, now in its fifth week.

Dow Drops 300 Points as Stocks See Red

All of Wall Street’s major indexes opened in negative territory and continued lower during the midday session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by as much as 300 points. It was last down 296.97 points, or 1.20%, at 24,409.38. DowDuPont (DWDP), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) were each down more than 2%.

dow jones
The Dow dropped around 200 points on Tuesday.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index fell 1.29% to 2,636.67, with all 11 primary sectors declining. Energy stocks were the biggest laggards as oil prices plunged more than 2%.

Sliding tech shares weighed on the Nasdaq Composite Index, which declined 1.5% to 7,050.03.

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dow futures finished lower in the holiday-shortened session, setting the stage for a turbulent start to the trading week.

Government Shutdown: No End in Sight

President Donald Trump speaks about the partial government shutdown, immigration and border security in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Democrats have been quick to dismiss President Trump’s new border-security proposal, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “nonstarter.” On Saturday, Trump outlined a new plan to fund his $5.7 billion “see-through steel barrier” and end the partial government shutdown, now the longest in history. The proposal included major concessions on illegal immigrants, including extended protection for so-called “Dreamers” and migrants with Temporary Protected Status.

However, Democrats feel that the plan offers no permanent solution for the Dreamers, who are protected under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Senate will likely vote down the bill later this week.

The roughly 800,000 federal employees affected by the partial shutdown are at risk of losing a second full paycheck on Friday. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has urged both sides to end the impasse so that the economic impact doesn’t spread to small businesses and the economy at large.

“The shutdown is harming the American people, the business community, and the economy,” Chamber executive vice president Neil Bradley told Congress earlier this month. “The adverse consequences of the shutdown are wide and growing.”

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via TradingView.

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