Wall Street's major averages finished lower on Wednesday as investors grew concerned over the uncertain fate of a U.S. coronavirus stimulus deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 165.81 points, or 0.58 percent, to 28,514.00. The S&P 500 fell 23.26 points, or 0.66 percent, to 3,488.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 95.17 points, or 0.80 percent, to 11,768.73.
Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors declined, with consumer discretionary down 1.43 percent, leading the laggards. Industrials closed up 0.54 percent, the best-performing group.
U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.
Investors continued to look for clues on new stimulus. An impasse among U.S. lawmakers in Washington has somewhat dimmed hopes that more COVID-19 relief aid would come to fruition before the election.
"We have two sides that are very far apart in terms of arriving at some form of stimulus, and I do not think it is likely we see a breakthrough before the election," Mitch Zacks, CEO at Zacks Investment Management, said in a note Wednesday.
Looking ahead, analysts said markets will remain sensitive to news of fiscal support in the lead-up to the election.
Meanwhile, Wall Street pored through newly-released earnings reports.
Goldman Sachs on Wednesday delivered quarterly results that well exceeded consensus estimates. Its shares rose 0.2 percent.
Bank of America shares fell more than 5 percent after its earnings topped expectations and overall revenue missed estimates.