A big rally in U.S. stocks evaporated Wednesday as the Federal Reserve appeared to struggle with questions related to inflation and government policy and suggested it might start trimming its balance sheet later in the year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 7.21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,352.95.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 41.09 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,648.15.
The Nasdaq skidded 34.13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,864.48.
The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gave up 16.03 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,352.14.
For the week:
The S&P 500 is down 9.77 points, or 0.4 percent.
The Dow is down 15.07 points, or 0.1 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 47.26 points, or 0.8 percent.
The Russell 2000 is down 33.78 points, or 2.4 percent.
For the year:
The S&P 500 is up 114.12 points, or 5.1 percent.
The Dow is up 885.55 points, or 4.5 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 481.36 points, or 8.9 percent.
The Russell 2000 is down 4.99 points, or 0.4 percent.