NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks slipped Wednesday as the fiscal drama in Washington dragged on and President Barack Obama met with business leaders including Boeing (BA)CEO James McNerney Jr. in an effort to force Republicans to end the partial government shutdown.
Markets pared losses from earlier in the day, reflecting the sense that lawmakers will eventually resolve this latest budgetary crisis. The S&P 500 fell 0.07% to close at 1,693.86 after falling as much as 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 0.39% to 15,133.14 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.08% to 3,815.02.
Monsanto ( MON ) shares lost 1.2% to $103.76 after the country's largest seed manufacturer issued a 2014 earnings guidance that fell short of analyst forecasts while reporting a wider fourth-quarter loss than investors had expected. The St. Louis-based company also announced it reached a deal to buy agriculture analytics and risk-management company The Climate Corporation for $930 million in cash.
Staples ( SPLS ) added 2.2% to $15.12 as the office-products company said it continues to invest in e-commerce capabilities and has completed its acquisition of Runa, a software company based in San Mateo, Calif. that helps online retailers increase sales by personalizing their shopping experiences. Terms and conditions of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Private payroll employment grew by a lower than expected 166,000 in September, according to payroll process Automatic Data Processing, versus the average economist expectation of 180,000. August's job gain was revised down to 159,000 from 176,000.
It's now expected the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report for September won't be released on Friday until the government resumes operations as usual.