As I noted in a previous previous post today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), a CNNMoney.com email tried to spin a 0.4% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and tiny drops of less than 0.1% in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ into proof that the government shutdown and the "looming U.S. default" were having awful effects on investors. Given that the ADP Employment Report today was a disappointment and had significant downward revisions to prior months, that was an indefensible stretch.
Steve Rothwell at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, took things to the next level in his 5:58 p.m. dispatch with overheated writing normally reserved for 200-point drops in the Dow (bolds are mine):
STOCKS FALL AS FEARS OF PROTRACTED SHUTDOWN GROW
Fear of a protracted U.S. government shutdown is making global investors increasingly nervous.
U.S. and European stock markets fell Wednesday as investors and world leaders worried about the threat to the global economy. Europe's top central banker called the partial shutdown "a risk if protracted." Boston's Federal Reserve Bank president cited the budget battle as a reason the Fed refused to pull back its economic stimulus last month, and President Barack Obama appeared on financial network CNBC to urge Congress to pass a budget and avoid derailing the nation's economic recovery.
After shrugging off the first day of the shutdown Tuesday, Wall Street made it clear on the second day that it was more and more nervous that the budget fight could turn into something worse, a failure to raise the nation's borrowing limit.
... On Wednesday, the major indexes opened sharply lower, as U.S. lawmakers appearing unwilling to yield in their entrenched positions. After Obama summoned Congressional leaders to the White House later in the morning, the market started to recoup some of its losses, but the recovery faded throughout the afternoon.
"The markets are sending a loud message to Washington lawmakers to get their act together and resolve the budget crisis," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
The ADP report, which was released at 8:15 this morning, would be a far more obvious culprit in the market's "sharply lower" opening. The "message" the markets sent with the lower opening was, "This report stinks."
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 58.56 points, or 0.4 percent, at 15,133.14 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,693.87. The Nasdaq composite declined 2.96 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,815.02.
Six of 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 fell. Declines were led by the makers of consumer staples and industrial companies.
Gosh, six of 10 sectors went down. That means four went up.
Wow. What an awful day.
As I argued earlier today, the fact that the market fell as little as it did would argue for the idea, given the bad news from ADP, that the shutdown-debt ceiling effect was a net positive.
But not to Steve Rothwell, determined to turn a molehill of a market decline into a shutdown-fearing mountain.
Give us a break, Steve.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.