The S&P 500 and Dow ended a choppy session down slightly on Tuesday as renewed optimism over US-China trade talks was offset by President Donald Trump's threat of a government shutdown and by political uncertainty in Britain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 53 points, or 0.2%, to 24,370 while the S&P 500 index slipped one point to 2,637 and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 11 points, or 0.2%, to 7,032.
Stocks registered early gains after top Chinese and American negotiators held telephone conversations to set a timetable of trade talks and Trump said on Twitter that concrete progress was imminent.
Investors were also encouraged by reports that China agreed to cut tariffs on US autos to 15% from 40%.
However, shares erased gains in the early afternoon after Trump threatened to shut down government after a contentious meeting between him and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who refused to support Trump's demand for $5 billion to build a wall between Mexico and the US.
Banking shares were under pressure amid anxiety over the global economic outlook. Shares of JP Morgan Chase lost 0.98%, Citigroup fell 1.49%, while Wells Fargo lost 2.13%.
Google parent Alphabet added 0.8% after Google chief executive Sundar Pichai defended the company's data collection practices and rejected Republican accusations the platform is biased against conservatives.
Apple Inc. declined 0.8% amid lingering concerns about the company’s business model and a series of setbacks in China, a key market.
Shares of Francesca’s Holdings Corp. skidded 15% after the firm announced a quarterly loss and a decline in store foot traffic.
DSW Inc. rallied 10% after the company roundly beat estimates for third-quarter profits and sales, while raising its 2018 outlook.
Pfizer Inc. stocks slid 0.6% after the stock was downgraded to neutral from overweight by JP Morgan.
In Asia, shares traded in the positive territory on Wednesday in morning session following another volatile day on Wall Street.
Japanese stocks jumped more than 1%. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.73%, while the Topic index was up 1.54%.
Over in South Korea, stocks also rose with the Kospi gaining 1.19%. In Australia, the ASX 200 index added 0.82%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.37%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.49%.