Stocks tumble as gov’t shutdown gets closer

NEW YORK — Stocks sank Monday as Wall Street worried that a budget fight in Washington could lead to an event far worse for the economy — a failure to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 128.57 to close at 15,129.67. The S&P 500 index lost 10.20 to 1,681.55. The Nasdaq fell 10.12 to 3,771.48.

Investors pulled back from stocks as a budget fight in Congress threatened to push the government into a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years Lawmakers have until midnight Tuesday to reach a budget deal that would keep government in full operation.

There is a simple reason why the budget battle — and, more importantly, an upcoming fight over the debt ceiling — are so crucial: the credit of the United States is the bedrock that nearly every other investment is built upon, largely due to the assumption that the nation will always pay its debts.

Monday’s decline adds to what has been eventful September for investors. Stocks hit an all-time Sept. 18 after the Federal Reserve voted to keep up its stimulus program. But that enthusiasm has vanished.

DISH subscribers may awake to NBC blackout

DISH Network subscribers might awake today to find they cannot access NBC programs.

DISH and Media General-owned NBC and CW affiliate WCBD-TV Channel 2 have been trying to reach a new contract agreement before a midnight deadline last night.

If no contract was reached, DISH could black out NBC shows. Subscribers could still watch the network via antenna or by switching to an alternative pay-TV service provider, WCBD said.

WCSC-TV Channel 5, the local CBS affiliate, went through a similar fee dispute with DISH in July without resolving it before the Aug. 1 deadline. They later came to an undisclosed agreement.

Boeing taking steps to make 787 more reliable

A Boeing official acknowledged reliability issues with its 787 Dreamliners Monday and said the aerospace giant is taking steps to make the high-tech plane more dependable, Reuters news service reported.

“Clearly, we’ve had some challenges on 787 reliability, and we’re focused on making that reliability better,” Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice president, said at a press conference in Chile.

“I would refer to the problems as teething problems,” he said. “I don’t think they’re systemic.”

The aircraft has suffered an assortment of electrical and safety issues, the latest of which were over the weekend when budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle grounded a new 787 and demanded Boeing repair it after it suffered repeated breakdowns. On Sunday, a 787 operated by Poland’s carrier, LOT airline, had to land unexpectedly because of a fault with the craft’s identification system.

The 787 is assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Wash.

American Air plans to hire 1,500 more pilots

American Airlines says it will hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five years and offer jobs to the remaining pilots who are still furloughed.

American said Monday that it would begin posting the new jobs this week and hire 45 to 50 pilots per month through next summer. It has already started hiring 1,500 flight attendants.

Parent AMR Corp. is trying to merge with US Airways Group Inc. and exit from bankruptcy protection. The merger is being held up by an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. A trial is set to begin Nov. 25.

Staff and wire reports