Trouble in emerging markets around the world continued to rattle confidence on Wall Street Wednesday. Economic uncertainty in countries like China, Turkey and Argentina was the dominant theme, and not even the Federal Reserve could ride to the rescue.
The Fed said economic activity across the country has picked up and the labor market continues to improve. It also voted to cut its bond buyback as planned by another $10 billion a month, as the long-awaited taper enters its second phase.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) slid 189 points, its fifth triple digit decline this month. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 18 points and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 46.
This is shaping up to be the market's worst month since the summer of 2012. The S&P has tumbled nearly 4 percent so far in January.
Earnings remained the key driver for individual stocks. Boeing (BA) led the Dow's decline. The aerospace giant fell nearly 5 percent. Its net easily topped expectations, but the company offered disappointing guidance about this year. And AT&T (T) fell more than 1 percent. Its net was solid, but the company signed up fewer new subscribers than key rivals, Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS).
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%In the tech sector, Yahoo (YHOO) slid nearly 9 percent. Its advertising revenue, especially on mobile platforms, was very disappointing. Apple (AAPL) fell another 1 percent, adding to Tuesday's big loss on a sales miss. And Cirrus Logic (CRUS), a key supplier of iPhone components, dropped another 8 percent. Its net fell sharply from a year ago.
The spice maker McCormick (MKC) lost 6 percent as its net fell; battery maker Energizer (ENR) dropped 6 percent; and Tupperware (TUP) lost 5 percent on a disappointing forecast.
There were some winners, too. Dow Chemical (DOW) jumped 4 percent as it posted a profit versus a year ago loss and raised its outlook. Marathon Petroleum (MPC) also rose 4 percent on an earnings beat. And Ezcorp (EZPW) jumped 20 percent on strong sales at its pawn shops.
What to Watch Thursday:
At 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, and the Commerce Department releases fourth-quarter gross domestic product.
At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for December, and Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.
These major companies are due to report quarterly financial results:
Altria Group (MO)
Beazer Homes (BZH)
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)
Eli Lilly (LLY)
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Ryland Group (RYL)
Time Warner Cable (TWC)
United Parcel Service (UPS)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.