Stocks dropped 1 percent on Wednesday, extending a recent selloff, as investors grappled with concerns that the Federal Reserve may begin to scale back its bond-buying stimulus while the economy is still sluggish.
Selling was broad-based, with all but two of the S&P sectors down more than 1 percent. The materials index .SPLRCM fell 2.1 percent as the day’s worst performer. Decliners outpaced advancers on the New York Stock Exchange by more than 4 to 1.
Analysts said recent selling could suggest the market may be moving away from its seven-month rally. The benchmark S&P 500 has now fallen 3.6 percent since its all-time closing high on May 21, a day before Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank may decide to taper its stimulus in the next few policy meetings if data shows the economy is gaining traction.