U.S. stocks dropped Wednesday following news that the economy skidded to a near halt in the first three months of the year, battered by harsh weather, plunging exports and sharp cutbacks in oil and gas drilling. Stocks stayed lower after the Federal Reserve downgraded its assessment of the economy and kept its key interest rate unchanged.

On Wednesday:

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 74.61 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 18,035.53.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 7.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,106.85.

The Nasdaq declined 31.78 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,023.64.

For the week:

The Dow is down 44.61 points, or 0.3 percent.

The S&P 500 is down 10.84 points, or 0.5 percent.

The Nasdaq is down 68.44 points, or 1.3 percent.

For the year:

The Dow is up 212.46 points, or 1.2 percent.

The S&P 500 index is up 47.95 points, or 2.3 percent.

The Nasdaq is up 287.59 points, or 6.1 percent.