DEEP DIVE: Stocks plunged Monday as a congressional committee appeared close to announcing it could not reach a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the nation's deficit over 10 years.
MORE DOWNGRADES? The stalemate was supposed to trigger harsh, automatic spending cuts. But lawmakers are looking for ways around the cuts. Failing to reduce the deficit might cause more credit rating agencies to downgrade the nation's debt, something that rocked financial markets this summer.
THE DOW: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 248.85 points to close at 11,547.31. At its low for the day, the Dow was down 342 points.