Stocks extended losses on Wednesday following comments from the Federal Reserve that while the economy grew modestly in September, the outlook remains weak.
The Dow, which had been trading higher for most of the day on solid earnings from blue chips, turned negative after the Fed comments, while the S&P and the Nasdaq added losses.
Technology stocks were weighing the most on the market following a rare earnings miss from tech heavyweight Apple. Apple shares
The market was just hanging even on the day and the Fed statement certainly triggered the selling, especially after the gains we saw yesterday. Investors were looking for a reason to sell, said Joseph Greco, managing director at Meridian Equity Partners in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 57.74 points, or 0.50 percent, at 11,519.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 12.80 points, or 1.04 percent, at 1,212.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 46.34 points, or 1.74 percent, at 2,611.09.
On the upside, Intel Corp
Travelers Cos Inc
Markets remained subject to violent swings from developments out of Europe ahead of a summit of European Union leaders Sunday. Investors hope the meeting will produce a concrete plan to handle the region's debt crisis.
In Greece, black-clad demonstrators hurled stones and fire bombs at police in front of parliament as tens of thousands rallied during a nationwide general strike to coincide with a vote on painful new austerity measures.
The CBOE Volatility Index VIX <.VIX>, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, jumped more than 10 percent to 34.80.
The S&P 500 has struggled to advance as it approaches the top end of a two-month trading range at around 1,250, having gained 8.6 percent for October.
Investors are still very much focused on what is going on in Europe and that will be overshadowing some of the good earnings we saw today here, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago.
Earnings reports continued to roll out, with Morgan Stanley
Economic data showed U.S. consumer prices outside food and energy rose at their slowest pace in six months while groundbreaking on new homes rose at the fastest rate in 1-1/2 years. Stocks barely budged after the data.
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)