Stocks closed near unchanged on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street's best rally since March, as the oncoming debt ceiling deadline overshadowed strong earnings from Apple Inc.
Apple (NasdaqGS:AAPL - News) hit another all-time high one day after the maker of the iPhone and iPad reported quarterly revenues that far exceeded expectations.
The stock jumped 2.7 percent to $386.90 but, overall, investors sat on their hands amid the unresolved debt ceiling crisis in Washington. The White House and Congress were negotiating a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling before a looming default on August 2.
"The big elephant in the room is the debate about the debt ceiling, and as the clock ticks we all know that we are going to have a deal. It's just how soon," said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management LLC in New York.
"Until then, the market is going to be affected by the daily news that is coming out of earnings season."
The Dow Jones industrial average (DJI:^DJI - News) lost 15.51 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,571.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^SPX - News) shed 0.89 points, or 0.07 percent, at 1,325.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index (Nasdaq:^IXIC - News) fell 12.29 points, or 0.43 percent, at 2,814.23.