New York City - US stocks Wednesday opened slightly lower as investors remained cautious amid a partisan budget squabble in Washington.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 1.28 (0.01 percent) at 15,333.31.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 1.29 (0.08 percent) at 1,696.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 3.41 (0.09 percent) to 3,764.84.

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.” - Sapa-AFP