US stocks slide as traders await vote on debt limit deal
Wall Street stocks fell early Wednesday as markets watched for progress on a deal to lift the U.S. debt limit and avoid a first-ever default -- with a vote in Congress expected later in the day.
Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.3 percent to 32,930.42 and the broad-based S&P 500 Index fell 0.4 percent to 4,190.93.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 0.2 percent to 12,987.58.
Congress has just days left to green-light an agreement between Republicans and Democrats that would allow more borrowing and ensure the world's biggest economy does not miss repayments -- a situation fueling uncertainty in markets.
The "Fiscal Responsibility Act" -- hammered out between Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Democratic President Joe Biden over the weekend -- needs a simple majority to clear the 435-member House and head to the Senate.
And the floor vote is planned for Wednesday night, according to a provisional House schedule.
Adding to market worries are "growth concerns" sparked by China's recent weaker-than-expected economic data, along with concerns that the US central bank could raise interest rates further, said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com in a note.
There could also be fears that "mega-cap stocks are overbought and due for a pullback that is expected to pressure the broader market," he said.
Among individual companies, chip company Nvidia, which exceeded $1 trillion in market value on Tuesday, saw its shares trade 0.7 percent lower on Wednesday.