Investing.com -- U.S. stocks reversed earlier gains and turned lower on fears about inflation and the possibility of a government shutdown.
The main indices on Wall Street closed sharply lower on Tuesday, with the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average in particular slumping to its worst day since March, falling almost 400 points, or 1.1%. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.6%.
New data showing that consumer confidence fell to a four-month low in September due to elevated prices and recession fears weighed on sentiment, particularly after the Federal Reserve last week signaled another rate hike was in the cards.
Treasury yields eased back. The 10-year Treasury, which reached a high not seen since 2007 on Tuesday, fell to 4.521%.
Durable goods orders for August rose 0.2%. They were expected to have declined 0.5% on the month compared with the 5.2% fall the previous month.
Government shutdown draws nearer
Investors have also been casting wary eyes at Washington as Congress has until late Saturday to agree on at least a temporary funding extension to keep the government running.
The Senate has voted to begin debate on a bill that would secure short-term funding for the government, although the legislation likely faces heavy opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The Senate's bill would keep the government funded until Nov. 17 and include billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine and domestic disaster relief.
At the same time, the House proceeded with its own plans for a series of conservative-backed spending bills that would be unlikely to receive much support in the Democratic-majority Senate.
Moody’s warned earlier this week that a federal government shutdown would harm the country's credit, potentially prompting the rating agency to downgrade the U.S.’s last remaining triple ‘A’ rating.
Costco slips after quarterly results
In corporate news, earnings are due from investment bank Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE: JEF ), semiconductor maker Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU ) and payroll and benefits platform Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX ).
Costco (NASDAQ: COST ) will also be in the spotlight, with the membership club's shares rising 1.6% after it reported better-than-anticipated quarterly profit and revenue.
Crude rebounds from losing week
Oil prices rose Wednesday as markets focused on supply tightness following the release of the latest U.S. inventories data heading into winter.
However, worries remained around low crude stockpile levels at a major storage hub in Oklahoma, which have added to concerns over supply tightness linked to extended output cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The official inventory data, from the Energy Information Administration , is due later on Wednesday.
(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)
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