U.S. stocks finished lower on Wednesday, with the Dow posting a four-session skid, as the White House and House Republicans continued debt-ceiling talks ahead of a fast-approaching deadline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 255 points, or 0.8%, ending near 32,800, booking a fourth session in a row of declines, its longest stretch of losses in about two weeks, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The S&P 500 index shed 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 0.6%, according to preliminary FactSet figures. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday that it’s “almost certain” that the federal government won’t be able to meet all of its obligations in early June if Congress doesn’t strike a deal on the U.S. debt limit, and that she’s worried about “substantial financial-market distress” even when there’s an agreement to avoid a default. The 2-year Treasury yield rose to 4.34%, it highest since March 10, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The 1-month Treasury bill rate was 5.67%, according to FactSet, while bills maturing right around the so-called “X-date,” or around June 1 when Yellen said the government is expected to be unable to pay all of its bills, were north of 6%.