DEBT WORRIES: Stocks fell Monday after Republican and Democratic leaders offered competing proposals to avoid a catastrophic default on the U.S. government’s debt.
THE CONSEQUENCES: If an agreement is not reached by Aug. 2, the U.S. won’t have enough cash to pay its bills. That could have a huge impact on financial markets, and the U.S. would likely lose its triple-A credit rating.
INDEXES: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,593. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 8, or 0.6 percent, to 1,337. The Nasdaq composite index fell 16, or 0.6 percent, to 2,843.