Stocks pared early session gains to close lower on Wednesday. The Dow lost 162 points to 26,430 while the S&P 500 fell 0.8% to 2,923. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.6% to 8,049.
The S&P 500 snapped a streak of three-consecutive record closes following the Federal Reserve’s policy decision. As widely expected, the central bank left benchmark rates unchanged and reiterated its patient approach to monetary policy. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted at the post-meeting press conference that “transitionary” factors may be attributed to inflation falling below the Fed’s 2% target. The Treasury yield curve flattened. The yield on the 10-year note was little changed at 2.50%, while the yield on the two-year note gained four basis points to 2.30%. Elsewhere, a report from the ISM showed U.S. manufacturing PMI came in at 52.8 in April, representing the smallest expansion since late 2016.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory. Energy shares led the decline as WTI crude lost 0.5% to $63.58 after a report showed U.S. stockpiles ballooned by 9.9 million barrels in the most recent week. In earnings, Apple surged 4.9% to $210.52 after its quarterly profit and sales results came in above analyst expectations. Elsewhere, Mondelez added 1.6% to $51.64 while CVS Health jumped 5.4% to $57.33 after each company topped Wall Street revenue and profit projections.
Breadth was negative on issues by 3:1 on the NYSE and by 2:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was roughly 3.6 billion shares.