U.S. stocks shaved earlier losses but still ended in negative territory on Wednesday, as the U.S. government shutdown entered its second day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 58.56 points, or 0.39 percent, to 15,133.14 points. The S&P 500 dipped 1.13 points, or 0. 07 percent, to 1,693.87 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 2.96 points, or 0.08 percent, to 3,815.02 points.
The first shutdown of the U.S. federal government in 17 years continued for a second straight day as U.S. House and Senate lawmakers still remained at an impasse over a funding bill. President Barack Obama invited congressional leaders to meet at the White House later Wednesday.
On the previous trading day, Wall Street rallied in defiance of the government shutdown. Most traders attributed the market rally to increasing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could delay tapering of its bond buying programs due to the government shutdown, as well as capital inflows at the beginning of a new month and quarter.
On the economic front, U.S. private sector employment increased by 166,000 jobs in September, according to the ADP, a private payrolls processor, missing market consensus of 180,000.
With a string of government economic data likely to be delayed due to the shutdown, including the most closely-watched non-farm payrolls report for September originally scheduled for Friday, the ADP report becomes the biggest focus of the week.
Moreover, U.S. mortgage applications fell 0.4 percent for the week ending Sept. 27 from the prior week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
On corporate side, Microsoft shares rose 1.01 percent to 33.92 U.S. dollars on a report that three of its top 20 shareholders want Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the tech giant.