Stocks turned negative on Tuesday in extremely volatile trading after the statement from the Federal Reserve that the economy had weakened.
The slide took the S&P 500 down about 19 percent from its 2011 closing high set on April 29, bringing the benchmark index close to the 20 percent drop from a peak that Wall Street defines as bear market territory.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 165.48 points, or 1.53 percent, to 10,644.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 12.29 points, or 1.10 percent, to 1,107.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 15.75 points, or 0.67 percent, to 2,341.94.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)