U.S. stocks dropped sharply Wednesday afternoon, following an optimistic morning report from both Apple and Boeing in their 4th-quarter earnings results.
Investors were buoyed by the results, which showed that Apple sold almost 9 million more iPhones than expected. German-listed shares of Apple were up 6 percent in trading Wednesday morning.
As the day went on, however, the energy sectors weighted on major indexes. Oil prices fell another 4%, this time below $45 per barrel.
The stock market is searching for good news, after a calamitous Tuesday in which the Dow fell almost 400 points in early trading, before settling at a 291-point loss. The latest concern is that a strong dollar will make it harder for companies to reach sales targets.
Back here at home, attention turned to the Federal Reserve this afternoon. The Fed wrapped up its first two-day policy making session of 2015 this afternoon with an announcement that future rate hikes would depend on economic data. Many experts are still targeting mid-year as the likely time frame for the first change in interest rates.
Here are the final numbers from Wednesday on Wall Street:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,191.44 (-195.77)
NASDAQ: 4,637.99 (-43.50)
S&P 500: 2,002.16 (-27.39)