Debt gridlock weighs on stocks in early trading

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are falling as U.S. lawmakers remain in a bitter stalemate over raising the country’s borrowing limit.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have offered competing proposals to avoid a catastrophic default on the government’s debt. A resolution still appears a long way off.

President Barack Obama called for a compromise in a televised address Monday, but House Speaker John Boehner said the White House has failed to negotiate in good faith. If an agreement is not reached by Aug. 2, the U.S. won’t have enough cash to pay all its bills.

At the opening bell Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 45 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,549. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 2, or 0.2 percent, at 1,335. The Nasdaq composite is flat at 2,845.