U.S. stocks lowered sharply in late afternoon trading, ending lower than at the start of Wednesday trading, erasing a 272-point rally in the Dow Jones Industrial average.

The mornings strong trading resulted as traders went bargain hunting following a steep drop in Tuesday's trading session. The Federal Reserve said yesterday it will work together with other central banks to add liquidity to the markets generating some buying interest.

In doing so, the Federal Reserve said it will establish a foreign exchange line with the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank.

Citigroup Inc., American International Group Inc. and McDonald's Corp. led the Dow average lower for a second day, but they climbed back above the unchanged line going into the close. After rising more than 270 points in early trading, the Dow closed up only 41.13 points or 0.3 percent at 13,473.90.

The Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 ended the session a little more firmly in positive territory. The Nasdaq rose 18.79 points or 0.7 percent to 2,671.14, while the S&P 500 closed up 8.94 points or 0.6 percent at 1,486.59.