U.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday, failing to extend the market's best day in nearly five years led mainly by energy and mining companies as oil dropped more than $4 a barrel while gold fell the most in nearly two years.
The largest U.S. oil companies, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips,, dropped after the government said crude inventories increased. Meanwhile, Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp., the top gold producers, tumbled more than 3 percent each.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 17.23 points, or 1.29 percent, to 1,313.51 at 2:07 p.m. in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 161.19, or 1.3 percent, to 12,231.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 25.94, or 1.14 percent, to 2,242.32 Seven stocks declined for every five that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Exxon lost $2.31 to $86.73. Crude oil for April delivery fell 5.3 percent to $103.60 a barrel in New York. Chevron tumbled $2.43 to $83.69. ConocoPhillips declined $3.26 to $75.01.
Raw-materials producers fell 3.3 percent. Barrick, the world's largest gold producer, declined $3.36 to $46.22 and Newmont, the second-biggest, slid $1.72 to $49.17.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $59.30 or 5.9 percent, to $945.00 an ounce after the Fed's rate cut was less than investors expected, reducing the appeal of the precious metal as a hedge against inflation.
Energy shares in the S&P 500 dropped for the third time in four days as the increase in U.S. stockpiles signaled that the economic slowdown is reducing demand.
Other major movers included Morgan Stanley which gained $1.75 to $44.61. The second-biggest U.S. securities firm reported it earned $1.45 a share in its fiscal first quarter, beating analysts' estimates of $1.01.
Shares of Visa Inc. soared nearly 34 percent higher in their trading debut, after the credit-card giant lays became the largest initial public offering of stock in U.S. history.