Stocks were sharply lower as declines in oil prices and concerns over tax legislation weighed heavily on investor sentiment. 

The Consumer Price Index for October rose 0.1%, in line with expectations. October's gain was the smallest in three months. The tiny increase highlights a recent theme that's pestered investors: stubbornly low inflation. Although this reading probably won't affect the Fed's expected December rate hike, persistently low inflation could alter the timing of rate hikes beyond 2017.

Consumer staples names were trailing Wednesday after Amazon (AMZN) announced it will cut prices at Whole Foods during the holiday season. Amazon said that the price discounts are just a preview of what Prime customers can expect on a regular basis when Prime becomes the official rewards program of Whole Foods. Conagra (CAG) , Kellogg (K) and JM Smucker (SJM) shares were all lower on the news.

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