The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Wednesday in volatile trading after a summary of the Federal Reserve's most-recent meeting showed the central bank was leaning toward more rate hikes moving forward.
The 30-stock index dropped 91.74 points to 25,706.68 as sharp losses in IBM offset strong gains in Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed just below the flatline at 2,809.21 and 7,642.70, respectively.
The major averages closed well off their session lows, however. The Dow fell as much as 319.26 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both dropped at least 1 percent at their lows of the day.
According to the minutes from the Fed's September meeting, the central bank remains convinced it needs to tighten monetary policy to keep the economy steady.
"The risk of inflation overheating currently is small, but the Fed is communicating that if inflation were to rise aggressively beyond their forecast, then they would hike rates above the neutral rate of 3.00%," Jim Caron, managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said in a note.
The 10-year Treasury note yield traded around 3.19 percent after the minutes were released. Goldman Sachs rose 3 percent while Morgan Stanley gained 2.7 percent. Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase both rose more than 1 percent.
The major indexes traded in a wide range before the minutes were released as investors grappled with a flood of corporate earnings and weakness in the housing market.
"We have a market that's gyrating, trying to find a bottom," said Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report. "This will continue until earnings reaffirm the outlook for next year."
"Bottoms are a process, not events," Essaye added. "It usually take several days and sometimes several weeks."
Netflix posted third-quarter earnings that easily beat expectations. The big beat was driven by stronger-than-expected subscriber growth in both the U.S. and overseas. Its stock rose 5.3 percent.