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Washington deadline could be nail biter for markets

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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With a midnight deadline hanging over Congress, stocks could be whipped by headlines from Washington Wednesday but should ultimately be able to limp through the latest drama.

Stocks fell Tuesday, ending a four-day winning streak as the Senate and House hit a seeming impasse on legislation to reopen the government and avoid hitting the debt ceiling. The House abandoned a plan to vote on any measure on Tuesday night. fell 133 to 15,0168, and the S&P 500 fell 12 to 1698.

(Read more: US debt deal: 2nd verse, same as the first)

Fitch put the U.S. on negative credit watch after the market close, noting that "political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a US default."