Page 2 of 2 Previous
AT&T and Verizon, the stocks with the highest dividends in the Dow, fell the most in the index. Verizon slumped $1.50, or 2.9 percent, to $50.05 and AT&T fell 92 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $35.25.
For weeks, investors have been trying to figure out when the central bank will start to ease back on its bond purchases. They overreacted Wednesday to the possibility of less stimulus, some analysts said. The economy will be strong enough for the Fed to start cutting back this year.
"I'm not really seeing a lot of reason for bonds to be selling off like they have or for the (stock) market to be down," said Scott Wren, a senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. "If the market sells off on this, you have to view it as an opportunity," to buy.
The Fed's policy of low interest rates coupled with bond-buying has been a major factor driving stocks higher since the market bottomed out in March 2009. The S&P 500 has gained 14.2 percent this year and has advanced 141 percent since its recession low.
In commodities trading, the price of crude oil fell 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $98.24 a barrel. The price of gold rose $7.10, or 0.5 percent, to $1,374 an ounce.
In other U.S. stock trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 206.04 points, or 1.4 percent, to 15,112.19. The Nasdaq composite fell 38.98 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,443.20.
— Sprint Nextel fell 32 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $7 after satellite TV operator Dish Network said late Tuesday that it wouldn't submit a revised bid for the wireless carrier.
— Men's Wearhouse fell 43 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $37.04 after the company dismissed its founder and executive chairman George Zimmer. The company also delayed its annual shareholders' meeting, which had been scheduled for Wednesday.
— Adobe jumped $2.42, or 5.6 percent, to $45.78 after the software maker said that its Creative Cloud subscriptions continued to climb in its fiscal second quarter.
Business Writer Bernard Condon contributed to this report in New York.