The S&P 500 was down 0.41%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.68%, and the Nasdaq fell 1%.
Apple, the world's largest company, slid 5% after sales fell for the first time since 2003. The tech giant announced its slowest growth in iPhone shipments on record, while overall sales of $75.9 billion missed forecasts of $76.6 billion. The company earned $3.28 a share, a nickel above estimates.
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Disappointing results from Apple pulled the tech sector lower on Tuesday. Tech giants including Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report , Oracle (ORCL) - Get Report , Intel (INTC) - Get Report and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report were all lower, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Report fell 1.3%.
New home sales jumped in December in the latest sign of resilience from the housing market. Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased 10.8% to an annual rate of 544,000. November's sales were also revised up to 491,000 from 490,000. December's rate was well above estimates of 500,000.
Crude oil prices fell below $31 a barrel after weekly inventories rose at a far faster pace than expected. Crude inventories increased by 8.4 million barrels, more than double estimates of 3.3 million. Prices have been under pressure on signs of global oversupply and fears major oil producers including Saudi Arabia won't cut output. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 2.4% to $30.69 a barrel.
Federal Reserve members convened on Wednesday morning for day two of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. While no change in policy is expected at this meeting, a statement to be released Wednesday afternoon will be closely analyzed for clues as to the pace of future rate hikes.
"As we see it, the Federal Reserve will keep rates unchanged at this week's FOMC meeting," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "We believe the Fed's communique is likely to be dovish and will include a reassessment of the prospects of inflation."
Stocks rallied on Tuesday with the Dow enjoying its best day of the year so far. A rebound in crude oil prices and a series of positive earnings reports helped to propel markets higher.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report dropped 1.2% on Wednesday after reporting a 40% decline in fourth-quarter profit on one-time charges. Excluding those charges, net profit doubled to 1.12 billion euros, while revenue jumped 11%.
United Technologies increased 1% despite reporting a 5% drop in sales in its fourth quarter. The aircraft manufacturer generated revenue of $14.3 billion over the quarter, $1 billion below estimates. Adjusted earnings of $1.53 a share were in line with forecasts. The company expects to buy back $3 billion in shares this year.
Boeing (BA) - Get Report tumbled more than 9% Wednesday after issuing weaker-than-expected guidance. The company expects full-year earnings between $8.45 and $8.65 a share, below forecasts of $9.41 a share. Boeing previously announced that it would cut production of its jumbo 747-8 jetliner to six a year, half previous output, starting in September.
AT&T (T) - Get Report moved 1% lower after a disappointing fourth quarter. Revenue jumped 22% to $42.1 billion after the company closed its deal with DirecTV, though missed estimates by $650 million. The telecom giant earned an adjusted 63 cents a share, in line with forecasts.
VMware (VMW) - Get Report fell 9%, caught up in a tech selloff, despite reporting a better-than-expected fourth quarter and plans to lay off 800 employees. The IT services company earned $1.26 a share in its recent quarter, a penny above estimates, while revenue jumped 10% to $1.87 billion.
Biogen (BIIB) - Get Report added 3% early Wednesday after beating quarterly estimates on its bottom line. The drugmaker earned $4.50 a share in its fourth quarter, well exceeding forecasts of $4.06 a share. Revenue of $2.84 billion came in above expectations of $2.71 billion. Fiscal 2016 guidance came in slightly weaker than expected with a range of $11.1 billion to $11.3 billion nearly coming in short of $11.29 billion consensus.
Biogen is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUScharitable trust portfolio.
Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report fell 1% after announcing a quarterly dividend of 37.5 cents a share and boosting its share buyback program by 350 million shares. The bank currently has a buyback program in place of 5.1 billion shares.
Wells Fargo is also a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUScharitable trust portfolio.
FedEx (FDX) - Get Report climbed more than 1% after authorizing a new share repurchase program worth up to 25 million shares, or around $3 billion at current share prices. Since fiscal 2014, the delivery company has returned nearly $8 billion to shareholders through stock buybacks.