U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, as weakness in Microsoft Corp pulled the major indexes lower, while investors braced for the start of quarterly earnings season.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slid 8.54 points, or 0.10 percent, to 8,155.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 2.55 points, or 0.29 percent, to 878.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> slid 7.49 points, or 0.43 percent, to 1,738.68.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)