Stock investors had plenty to dislike Wednesday.
Disappointing earnings from big U.S. companies, ongoing jitters in emerging markets and more cuts to the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus combined to push stocks lower for the fourth day out of the last five.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 189.77 points to 15,738.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1 percent to 1,774.20. The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.1 percent to 4,051.43.
Boeing slumped after the plane maker said its 2014 revenue and profit would fall short of analysts' expectations as its defense business slows. AT&T, the largest U.S. telecommunications company, fell after its outlook for the year disappointed investors.
Currencies including the Turkish lira and the South African rand fell against the dollar despite efforts by central banks in those countries to stem the declines by raising interest rates. Investors say those tighter credit policies, which can restrict lending, come with the risk of hurting the local economies.
The Fed announced Wednesday afternoon it will lower its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $65 billion because of a strengthening U.S. economy. The Fed is cutting back its bond purchases, which have held down long-term interest rates, even though the prospect of reduced stimulus has rattled global markets. The move was largely anticipated by analysts and investors.
The S&P 500 index has fallen 4 percent this month, putting it on track for its biggest monthly decline since May 2012. That's in sharp contrast to last year, when the index rose 5 percent in January. The index ended the year up nearly 30 percent, its best performance since 1997.