The Dow Jones industrial average fell 61 points to close at 15,273 Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped four points to 1,692. The Nasdaq eased seven points to 3,761.
The U.S. government will run out of funding on Sept. 30, unless Democrats and Republicans can agree to pass a temporary funding bill in the next few days.
Wal-Mart fell after Bloomberg News reported the retailer was looking to order fewer products from its suppliers in the third and fourth quarters.
Investors got an unexpectedly positive August durable goods report. Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 0.1 per cent last month.