(CNBC) The Dow Jones industrial average fell on Thursday as investors assessed the possibility of the government shutting down at the end of the week.
The 30-stock index closed 94 points lower after falling 168.33 points at its session lows. The S&P 500 alternated between gains and losses throughout the session before closing 0.2 percent lower.
Congress needs to pass a spending bill by the end of Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Historically, a government shutdown has led to a short-term pullback in the stock market.
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