The U.S. stock market ended lower on Wednesday as investors weighed the latest policy statement from the Federal Reserve and the implications of oil prices sinking to the lowest level in nearly six years.

The central bank reiterated that it will be patient in raising rates from record lows, noting that inflation remains ultra-low. But it also strengthened its assessment of the U.S. economy.

On Wednesday:

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 195.84 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,191.37.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 27.39 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,002.16.

The Nasdaq composite lost 43.50 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,637.99.

For the week:

The Dow is down 481.23 points, or 2.7 percent.

The S&P 500 index is down 49.66 points, or 2.4 percent.

The Nasdaq is down 119.88 points, or 2.5 percent.

For the year:

The Dow is down 631.70 points, or 3.5 percent.

The S&P 500 index is down 56.74 points, or 2.8 percent.

The Nasdaq is down 98.06 points, or 2.1 percent.