Wall street hit by growth worries, US shutdown; blue-chips keep Dow afloat

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq dropped on Wednesday as U.S. stocks gave up a strong start, hamstrung by lingering concerns over economic growth, while the Dow stayed afloat helped by strong earnings from IBM and other blue-chips.

The United States could end up with no growth this quarter if the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22 extended through March, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said, though he did not see the risk of a credit downgrade. That added to nerves, with investors already fretting after the International.

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