US stocks Wednesday moved lower as investors remained cautious amid a partisan budget squabble in Washington.

About 40 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 35.75 (0.23 percent) to 15,298.84.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 4.98 (0.29 percent) at 1,692.44, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 12.41 (0.33 percent) to 3,755.85.

US stocks have slipped for the past week as an October 1 deadline looms for Washington to enact funding for the new fiscal year.

The two parties are far apart from a deal, raising the possibility of a government shutdown. analyst Patrick O'Hare said investors "have shifted back into a wait-and-see mode. They are waiting to see what transpires with the budget debate and they are waiting to see if the US stock market shows some buy-the-dip verve or continues to pull back."

Stryker, a medical technology company, fell 2.2 percent after announcing a $1.65 billion acquisition of Mako Surgical Group, which specializes in robotic-assisted surgery in orthopedics. Mako surged 82.5 percent.

Online retail giant Amazon slipped 0.4 percent after unveiling a pair of new tablet devices. The company also released a new version of its Kindle Fire for $139, down from $199.

Cruise ship operator Cruise Corp. fell 4.8 percent after suffering analyst downgrades following weak results Tuesday. Morgan Stanley said it will take "at least two years" for the company's valuation to be attractive, given the weak business outlook following recent cruise mishaps.

AutoZone, which sells auto replacement parts and accessories, rose 0.1 percent after posting $10.42 per share in earnings, eight cents above expectations. Revenues also exceeded analyst projections.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.65 percent, while the 30-year rose to 3.68 percent from 3.67 percent Tuesday. Prices and yields move inversely.