World markets gave the U.S. debt deal a tepid reception Thursday, even as lawmakers opened the government for business and removed the threat of a costly default.
U.S. stocks opened lower, and the Dow Jones was dragged down by disappointing earnings reports from Goldman Sachs ( and )IBM ( after notching up a 200-point gain Wednesday. )
The Senate passed the last-minute legislation by a wide margin Wednesday evening, and the House followed suit. President Obama signed the bill into law in the early hours of Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that the Senate agreement will reopen the government and fund it until January 15. It will also raise the debt limit until February 7, saving the country from defaulting on its bills.
The bill also sets up budget negotiations between the House and Senate for a long-term spending plan.
Investors were relieved that a shock default had been averted, for now, but some analysts say Congress has merely kicked the can down the road, and the U.S. budget crisis could reemerge early next year.
With Democrats and Republicans at loggerheads, investors had prepared themselves in recent days for the unthinkable.
Interest rates on short-term Treasuries spiked, and big money market funds run by Fidelity, JPMorgan and Charles Schwab reduced their exposure to U.S. debt maturing in late October and November.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which operates the world's biggest derivatives market, asked investors to stump up more cash to trade in financial products that provide protection against rising interest rates.