Stocks inch higher amid deadlock

Stocks are inching higher today, trying to hold support, as the United States government enters its fourth day of shutdown.

S&P 500 futures rose by less than one-tenth of a percent. European bourses are mostly higher, led by Italy, Spain and France. Asia was mixed in the overnight session, with Japan’s Nikkei down almost 1 percent and mainland Chinese shares up almost 1 percent.

The S&P 500 has declined in nine of the last 11 sessions and is now trying to hold its 50-day moving average. The index fought its way back from a decline of more than 1 percent yesterday after bouncing at 1670.

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