The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will maintain its $85 billion per month stimulus program, which has helped support stocks around the world by pumping cash into the financial markets.
But some investors had hoped the Fed would adopt a more dovish tone in its statement. There were also expectations that the central bank would be more explicit as to the impact of the recent government shutdown on economic growth.
London-based CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said the failure to address the shutdown "appears to have caught the market off guard, given the recent and likely continued deterioration in economic data."
Facebook(FB) bounced higher after the social media company reported earnings after the bell Wednesday that beat expectations. The stock reaction has been wild. Shares initially jumped 15% in after-hours trading, then slumped when the company said the number of teen users who were visiting the social networking site on a daily basis had fallen.