Stocks declined for a third day on Wall Street as investors waited for signs of progress on the "fiscal cliff."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 105 points to 12,772 just after 10 a.m. in New York. The Standard and Poor's 500 was down 13 points to 1,386. The Nasdaq Composite was off 29 points at 2,938.
Stocks declined Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in budget talks. About $671 billion of tax increases and spending cuts will come into effect Jan. 1 if no deal is reached. Economists say the measures could eventually push the U.S. back into recession.
Concern that the U.S. will go over the "cliff" has weighed on stocks since the Nov. 6 elections returned a divided government to power with President Barack Obama returning to the White House and Republicans retaining control of the House.
In economic news Wednesday, U.S. sales of new homes dipped 0.3 percent in October though remain up 20.4 percent for the year, according to a government report. Stable home prices suggest the housing market is steadily recovering.
Investors will also look will also look to the Federal Reserve for indications about the strength of the economy. A Fed snapshot of business conditions around the nation, covering October through mid-November, will be published at 2 p.m.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 3 basis points to 1.61 percent.
Stocks making big moves:
— Chipmaker Analog Devices fell $1.03 to $39.09 after it said sales fell 3 percent in the third quarter due to weak economic conditions and global uncertainty.
— Costco, the wholesale club operator, gained $4.45 to $100.90 after the company said that it would pay a special dividend of $7 a share next month, in addition to the regular quarterly dividend it pays shareholders.
— Green Mountain Coffee Roasters surged $7.04 to $36.04 after the beleaguered coffee company reported fourth-quarter results and guidance that far exceeded the market's expectations.