Stocks fell on Wednesday as investors pared back bullish bets that followed an optimistic statement from the Federal Reserve on the economic recovery.

With the market up 60 percent in six months, some traders said investors opted to book profits as they brace for the upcoming earnings season.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 16.40 points, or 0.17 percent, to 9,813.47. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 3.50 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,068.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 5.11 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,141.19.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Kenneth Barry)