This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Government Shutdown: How Will It Impact Your Portfolio?

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK (MainStreet) ¿ The government shutdown may have little immediate impact on your investment portfolio, but a larger threat looms by mid-month, according to Wall Street analysts.

As more than 800,000 federal civilian employees and as many as 1 million workers face furlough, expect an increase in market volatility at the very least, says Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist for BlackRock.

"A pickup in volatility can be a short-term negative for stocks since a shutdown would modestly hurt fourth-quarter economic growth and cause a dent in consumer confidence," says Koesterich in an analysis. "However, assuming that any government shutdown is resolved within a week or two, we do believe that the longer-term impact will be limited. Investors should prepare themselves for more market volatility, but we would expect only a modest correction in stock prices."

But Koesterich says the situation may change abruptly in the coming weeks if Congress and President Obama don't come to an agreement to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, forcing the U.S. into a technical default on its debt.

"This would be a much more serious situation," he says. "A technical default on U.S. debt would cause a significant blow to the global financial system, would almost certainly cause a sharp pullback in stock prices, particularly U.S. stocks, and would be a negative for fixed income credit sectors. In fact, about the only asset class that would benefit from a debt ceiling breach would be gold."

In 1995 and 1996 the federal government faced two shutdowns and the stock market remained resilient, notes Roger Aliaga-Díaz, a senior economist for Vanguard. "In fact, markets were defiant, and broad equity and bond prices rose against the pessimism," he adds.

But Aliaga-Díaz also cautions that the stakes are high as lawmakers face the next challenge.

"The debt-ceiling discussion has a big symbolic component," he says. "If Congress actually failed to increase the limit, it would mean a tremendous fiscal squeeze of the size of the budget gap and a significant challenge for the 'full faith and credit' of the U.S. government. The impact on the economy from such a dysfunctional political outcome would be unthinkable."

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs