Stocks waver as government shutdown looms

NEW YORK — Stocks are closing lower as oil surged to new highs for the year and a budget dispute threatened to shut down the federal government.

Investors are watching Washington, where Republicans and Democrats are in talks to reach a budget agreement that would prevent a government shutdown.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 29 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 12,380. The S&P 500 index slipped 5, or 0.4 percent, to 1,328. The Nasdaq composite lost 16, or 0.6 percent, to 2,780.

Benchmark crude oil jumped $2.49 to settle at $112.79 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the highest price since Sept. 22, 2008.

More than two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 3.7 billion shares.

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