Global Markets: Stalled U.S. Debt Talks, Inflation Woes Hit Stocks

World stocks dropped on Wednesday as U.S. debt ceiling talks dragged on without resolution, stoking a general malaise in markets that saw safe-haven assets such as the dollar hold around recent highs, Reuters reported. But crude oil prices bucked the downtrend and kept rising, after a warning from the Saudi energy minister to speculators that raised the prospect of further OPEC+ output cuts. Negotiators for Democratic President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy met again on Wednesday to end an impasse in talks. McCarthy said earlier on Wednesday that while there are still differences between Democrats and Republicans over spending, he believed that a deal could be made. Time is running short for a resolution, and the Treasury Department has warned that the federal government could be unable to pay all its bills by as soon as June 1 — just eight days away — and it would take several days to pass legislation through the narrowly divided Congress. The U.S. S&P 500 index ended down 0.73% by mid-day, the Dow Jones Index lost 0.77%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.61%. That helped to drag the MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 nations, down 1.01%. Read more.