US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower as a little progress made in Washington

Tue Oct 8, 2013 9:57am EDT
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* Obama shows flexibility on short-term debt limit hike

* Talisman Energy climbs on Icahn stake

* PHH exploring unit split - sources

* J.C. Penney jumps on turnaround update

* Indexes off: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.19 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped slightly on Tuesday despite signs of slight progress to resolve the fiscal standoff in Washington, although no agreement appeared to be likely soon.

With the partial U.S. government shutdown in its second week and only nine days left for Congress to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, President Barack Obama said he would accept a short-term increase to avoid a default.

A Senate aide said Republican Senator Rob Portman, who is influential on budget matters, floated a plan to cut federal spending and reform the U.S. tax code as part of a broader deal to reopen shuttered government agencies and raise the debt ceiling.   Continued...