On the other hand, tech gains helped to lift the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Tesla shares gained 1.4% after billionaire investor Ron Baron stood by his bullish thesis on the electric vehicle maker. Amazon shares hit their highest level since August 2022; they advanced more than 2.5%.
August's core inflation print in the consumer price index increased 0.3% and 4.3% respectively, against estimates for 0.2% and 4.3%. Federal Reserve officials focus more on the core number as it provides a better indication of where inflation is heading over the long term.
Meanwhile, the headline numbers rose 0.6% last month, and was up 3.7% from a year ago. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were looking for respective increases of 0.6% and 3.6%.
"This report interrupts the run of good news [and] makes it more difficult to talk a happy game about inflation," said Vincent Reinhart, chief economist at Dreyfus and Mellon. "It doesn't matter for the upcoming FOMC meeting's results. They're not going to act. They have not signaled action. Market participants do not expect action. And that's because they've shifted down the pace of tightening."
"If they act, it will be in November," Reinhart added.
Wall Street has mostly priced in a pause in rate hikes at the Fed's meeting next week. Fed funds futures pricing data as of Wednesday afternoon indicate a 97% probability of rates remaining the same, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
— CNBC's Jeff Cox contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version misstated the day Adobe reports earnings.
Dow closes lower Wednesday
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Wednesday.
The Dow fell by 70.46 points, or 0.20%, to 34,575.53 for its second straight decline. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was up 0.12% to 4,467.44. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.29% to 13,813.59.
— Sarah Min
17 of the 30 Dow Industrials lower, led by 3M, Caterpillar and Dow
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is falling for a second day, with almost 57% of the 30 stocks in the average declining, led by 3M, down 5.9%, Caterpillar, off 2.7% and Dow Inc., lower by 1.7%. Another four stocks (Salesforce, Boeing, Merck and Amgen) were all sliding more than 1%.
This security screening stock is falling. Cantor says it's an opportunity to buy
Cantor Fitzgerald said it sees a pullback in Evolv Technologies stock as an "attractive opportunity" to buy shares of the security screening device manufacturer.
The stock tumbled as much as 13% on Wednesday after CBS News Pittsburgh reported that a woman said a medical device that stimulates her brain stopped working after she was scanned by security at PNC Park ahead of a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game.
The Evolv scanning system uses low-frequency radio waves to detect weapons. The company claims their system is able to determine whether an object is something dangerous like a gun, knife or bomb or something benign like a cell phone.
Although the woman told stadium security that she was concerned about going through the system, the officer denied her request for another screening method.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brett Knoblauch said both Evolv and the Food and Drug Administration advise security systems operators to have alternative methods for anyone with health or safety concerns. An Evolv spokesman didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Analyst Brett Knoblauch rates the stock an overweight and has a $8.60 price target.
—Christina Cheddar Berk
Wall Street weighs in on Apple's latest iPhone
Wells Fargo recommends a more defensive portfolio ahead of a potential government shutdown
With a government shutdown on Oct. 1 looming over the market, Wells Fargo recommends investors take a more defensive portfolio position.
"We encourage investors to look beyond the market's twists and turns in the weeks before, during, and immediately following a potential shutdown by aligning with our more defensive portfolio guidance, positioning for an economy approaching an anticipated recession," strategist Gary Schlossberg said in a Wednesday note.
The firm believes a government shutdown this year could potentially drag on for at least a few weeks, due to an increasingly polarized Congress.
Equities have historically posted returns during the gaps between government funding, Schlossberg noted. However, he added that the event could be yet another catalyst that could spark increased volatility and weakness in stocks, "given the underlying vulnerabilities we see in the broader economy."
— Hakyung Kim
Google is cutting hundreds of jobs in its recruiting organization
Google is cutting hundreds of jobs in its global recruiting organization as part of a broader pullback in hiring over the next several quarters, CNBC confirmed.
Google-parent Alphabet shares were higher by 0.7% in afternoon trading.
— Jennifer Elias, Sarah Min
Goldman Sachs shares rise, supporting Dow
Goldman Sachs shares rose more than 1% in afternoon trading, making it the second-best performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Still, the 30-stock index was last trading virtually flat.
Those moves come ahead of the return of some large public offerings this week. Chip designer Arm is set to begin trading Thursday in the year's biggest IPO. The return of new listings would be a boon for Goldman Sachs, which is more reliant on investment banking.
— Sarah Min