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US Markets Sink on Third Day of Government Shutdown

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks fell Thursday as the government shutdown dragged into a third day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 137 points at 14,996.48. The Nasdaq Composite gave up 41 points to end the day at 3,774.34 and the S&P dropped 15 points, closing at 1,678.66.
Stocks initially opened lower on Thursday and sank to their lowest level in nearly a month by late morning. The major indices have logged modest declines on eight out of the last 10 days.
A disappointing report on sales didn't help matters. The Institute of Supply Management says sales fell sharply and new orders dipped at service companies nationwide.  Those companies cover everything outside of manufacturing, including retail, construction, health care and financial services.
First time jobless claims rose by about a thousand last week, but economists say they're not overly concerned.  The less volatile four-week average shows the number is consistent with modest hiring and that fewer companies are laying off employees.
The Labor Department won't issue its September unemployment report, which was due out on Friday, because of the shutdown.

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