The Senate sent the House a stopgap spending measure stripped of defunding for the Affordable Care Act, and it was unclear what the House would do. Spending authority expires Monday, and without a continuing resolution or fiscal 2014 budget in place, non-essential government services will be suspended. Traders also were jittery over the possibility the federal government will go into default in mid-October if Congress fails to approve an increase in the debt ceiling.
At the close Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 70.06 points or 0.46 percent to 15,258.24, and the Standard & Poor's 500 was down 6.92 points or 0.41 percent to 1,691.75. The Nasdaq dipped 5.83 points or 0.15 percent to 3,781.59.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,007 issues advanced while 2,015 declined on volume of nearly 2.983 billion shares.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note gained 7/32 to yield 2.626 percent.
On foreign markets, the Japanese Nikkei 225 shed 39.05 points or 0.26 percent to 14,760.07, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 82.01 points or 0.35 percent to 23,207.04. In Europe, the London FTSE fell 52.93 points or 0.81 percent to 6,512.66, while the German DAX fell 2.59 or 0.03 percent to 8,661.51, and the French CAC was virtually flat, adding just 0.05 point to 4,186.77.
On currency markets, the euro rose to $1.3523 and the dollar fell to 98.24 yen.
Crude oil lost 22 cents to $102.81 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On the Comex division, gold rose $12.20 to $1,336.30 per troy ounce, while silver added 0.4 cents to $21.77.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn lost 3 cents to $4.53 3/4 a bushel, November soybeans gained 3 1/4 cents to $13.20, and December wheat added 3 1/4 cents to $6.81 1/2.