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Stocks Drop on Concern Fed Support Waning for Stimulus

Tickers in this article: EA SEE TEVA WU ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks declined Wednesday as the Federal Reserve opted to  maintain its current $85 billion bond-buying program  and keep interest rates at current low levels, citing an elevated jobless rate and a slowdown in the housing market's recovery.

Markets fell on concerns the Fed may still pullback on its stimulus program in December, or early next year. In a policy statement, the central bank said that overall all "the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market" .... have "diminished," indicating that the worst of the 2009 recession, which prompted the stimulus program has passed.

TheS&P 500 closed down 0.49% to 1,763.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.39% to 15,618.64, while the Nasdaqdropped 0.55% to 3,930.62.

The Fed dropped language about concerns that financial market tightening could present a drag on economic growth.

"Folks are saying, 'OK, look, the Fed was uncomfortable with the 10-year [Treasury] rate when it was 2.75%, 2.8%, but [the central bank] is comfortable with it at 2.45%,'" Thomas Tzitzouris, head of fixed income research at Strategas Research Partners, said in a phone interview from Washington. "And we've been buying on the expectation that the Fed was not comfortable with the levels we were at, and so maybe its time to take some profit."

Electronic Arts   surged 7.8% to $26.00 after the video game publisher posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that raced past estimates by 20 cents at 33 cents a share on revenue that beat expectations as its portfolio of sports titles grew, boosting gains in digital revenue. Electronic Arts has hiked its full-year guidance on optimism that the company will deliver a "full slate of amazing games and services to players on current and next-generation consoles, mobile, and PC."

Sealed Air Corp   gained 6.4% to $30.35 after the consumer packaging company reported a swing to third-quarter profit and earnings per share that beat estimates by 6 cents at 39 cents a share as revenue increased 2.9% to $1.9 billion. During the quarter, the food care, product care and medical applications segments all posted sales gains.

Western Union   dropped 12.4% to $16.85 after the payment services company lowered its full year earnings outlook and said that it no longer expects operating profit growth amid an increase in compliance related expenses driven by an increasingly strict legal and regulatory environment. The company said that it expects expenses of this nature to increase to a range of about 3.5% to 4.5% of revenue in 2014 from 2.5% of revenue in 2013.

Teva Pharmaceuticals   surrendered 8.1% to $38.70 after it was revealed that CEO and President Dr. Jeremy Levin  stepped down amid rumors of executive infighting. Executive VP and CFO Eyal Desheh will temporarily assume the positions until a successor has been found.