Fed outlook sends Wall Street lower

NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Wall Street sank on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said US growth had slowed down.

Investors offloaded technology companies, already under pressure following a shaky outlook from Apple, as well as consumer stocks such as cruise lines.

There were also disappointing results from Boeing, whose shares fell almost 9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.4% lower at 15,944 points.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.1% to 1,882 points, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 2.2% to 4,468 points.

Shares in Apple fell 6.5% after the technology giant reported only marginal growth for iPhone sales.

Shares in aircraft maker Boeing suffered their biggest one-day loss in 14 years after saying that revenue and deliveries could fall in 2016. Boeing shares ended $11.40 lower at $116.61.

Oil jumps

Facebook shares closed down almost 3%, but soared more than 12% in after-hours trading after more than doubling profits for the last three months of 2015.

US crude rose 2.7% to close at $32.30 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude jumped 4.1% to $31.10 a barrel in London. Oil prices also increased about 4% on Tuesday.

The US central bank said it was "closely monitoring" global economic conditions, but would not raise interest rates. It did so for the first time in almost a decade last month.

Since the Fed took action in December, oil has plunged, stock markets have swung wildly and investors have become more concerned that China's huge economy - a major driver of global growth - is losing momentum.

The Fed said US growth had slowed as exports fell because of the strong dollar.