Stocks ended lower Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P closing in the red for the fifth-straight day, as jitters over budget talks in Washington continued to weigh on markets.
Major averages are on track for their first losing week in four.
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"The market is vulnerable to negative news. You have the market watching dysfunction in Washington in real-time, and it's been choppy and down five days in a row, and then you introduce a new catalyst with Wal-Mart's and it represents a large part of the consumer," said Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets.