NEW YORK — The government shuts down. The economy unravels. Stocks plunge.
That may be Wall Street’s worst fear, but history shows it’s mostly overblown.
There have been 17 government shutdowns since 1976, ranging in length from one to 21 days. None has caused a market meltdown.
The average decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 during a shutdown lasting 10 days or more is about 2.5 percent. For shutdowns lasting five days or fewer, the average decline is 1.4 percent.
‘‘If they shut the government down for two days, the world’s not going to stop revolving,’’ says Ron Florance, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Shutdowns may even offer a buying opportunity. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.