There's no pleasing some markets. While investors rejoiced over the Fed's decision not to dial back its bond purchases earlier this week, today their anxiety over the delay sent stocks lower.
Markets began the day modestly lower in mixed trading Friday, but selling accelerated by midday and all three major indexes were down at the close.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 185.46 points, or 1.2%, to 15,451.09.
The Nasdaq fell 14.66 points, or 0.4%, to 3,774.73.
The S&P 500 lost 12.43 points, or 0.7%, to 1,709.91.
Nonetheless, all three indexes are in the black for the week, their third consecutive week of gains.
With no major economic news, investors were left digesting the Federal Reserve's decision not to taper, and are apparently souring on the temporary reprieve, as speculation once again begins about when the central bank will finally pull back its asset purchases. The market also has an eye on Germany's elections on Sunday.
Caterpillar (CAT) ended down after announcing that global sales from its dealers fell in the last three months.
Coal stocks like Arch Coal (ACI), Peabody Energy (BTU), and Walter Energy (WLT) tumbled on new emissions proposals from the government.
AK Steel (AKS) dropped on its downbeat third-quarter forecast.
Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) was one winner, gaining 18%, but only at the expense of rival Prosensa Holding NV (RNA), which sank on news that its Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment missed Phase III trial targets.