Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are falling on Monday heading into the end of the third quarter, with investors still feeling the pressure of the Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance and bracing for the increasing chance that the federal government will shut down.
Wall Street indices suffer weak month
The main indices on Wall Street look set to enter the final week of September on a negative note, with the indication from the U.S. central bank that interest rates will remain elevated for longer than expected weighing heavily.
The tech sector has been hardest hit, with the Nasdaq on track to slump 5.9% this month, potentially its biggest monthly loss since December. The broad-based S&P 500 is set to drop 4.2% this month, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average has shed 2.2%.
The Fed held rates steady last week, but signaled it might raise them one more time this year. It also pointed to only two rate cuts next year, half the number they anticipated in their last round of forecasts in June.
There are a number of U.S. central bank officials scheduled to speak this week, starting with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari later Monday. Their comments will be studied carefully for clues of future policy moves, particularly with key i nflation data due for release at the end of the week.
Budget stand-off continues
Also weighing on sentiment is Congress' ongoing budget stand-off, with the federal government set to run out of funding for its operations at the start of October unless lawmakers can hammer out a deal.
Over the weekend, Democrats and Republicans in Congress both warned that there is a chance a deal will not be reached. Even a plan to create a 45-day extension to government funding to give legislators more time coming up against strong resistance by a handful of GOP holdouts in the House.
Washington's latest budgetary showdown comes only a few months after a battle over the U.S. debt limit almost brought the world's largest economy to the brink of a damaging default.
Amazon seeks to boost AI position
In corporate news, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) said on Monday that it is aiming to invest up to $4 billion in artificial intelligence group Anthropic, as the tech giant looks to bolster its position in the corporate arms race over nascent AI technology. Amazon shares were up 1.1%.
Additionally, the entertainment sector could benefit from Sunday’s news that the union representing Hollywood writers reached a preliminary agreement with major studios and streaming companies on a new contract that could end their months-long strike.
Crude rebounds from losing week
Oil prices edged higher Monday, rebounding after their first negative week in four as traders returned their focus to the prospect of tighter supplies going forward.
Both contracts fell last week after a hawkish Federal Reserve stance raised concerns of a hit to economic activity and thus oil demand in the largest consumer in the world.
However, prices remain near their highest levels since November last year on forecasts of a wide crude supply deficit in the fourth quarter in the wake of Saudi Arabia and Russia extending additional supply cuts to the end of the year.
(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)
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