But hope was rising that the deadlock will be resolved soon. Republican leaders said Thursday they would vote to extend the government's borrowing authority for six weeks. A spokesman for Obama said the president would "likely" sign a bill to increase the nation's ability to borrow money so it can continue paying its bills.
The worries from Washington had compounded challenges retailers have had in trying to get shoppers spending again. The job and housing markets are improving, but that hasn't yet translated into sustained spending increases among most shoppers.
AP Wall Street reporter Ken Sweet contributed to this report in New York.