Stocks fell for a third straight day on Wednesday as a political deadlock over raising the debt ceiling and a decline in durable goods orders kept investors away.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 73.38 points, or 0.59 percent, at 12,427.92. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was off 9.18 points, or 0.69 percent, at 1,322.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 18.98 points, or 0.67 percent, at 2,820.98.