Stocks dropped Wednesday amid fears that the U.S. will default on its debt or see its credit rating cut, following lawmakers' failure to close on a debt-ceiling deal. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 1.59 percent, Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 2.03 percent, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 2.65 percent. Traders fear the GOP's deal delay will take its toll on investor sentiment. “Investors remain hopeful that a deal can be made in time, but the longer the delay goes on, the more entrenched investors’ fears become,” said Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at City Index. Among other market effects, the dollar has fallen in the past few days, and oil has dropped to $99 a barrel as demand weakens.