U.S. equities closed lower on Wednesday, as weaker than expected earnings from IBM and a slump in oil prices weighed on sentiment.
The Dow posted a more than 100-point drop for the second-straight session not least because corporate earnings continued to disappoint, after IBM posted mixed results.
Meanwhile, a slumped in energy stocks weighed on upside momentum, after crude prices fell by nearly 4%, the biggest one-day decline since March.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery fell by $2.05 to settle at $50.44 a barrel.
In what was quiet day for top-tier economic data, investors focused on comments from Federal Reserve officials' Eric Rosengren and Stanley Fischer.
Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve should start to shrink its balance sheet "relatively soon" but take a gradual approach to ensure planned rate hikes remained on track.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer maintained his view that U.S. policy normalization is likely to be gradual and said that spillovers from tightening "will be manageable".
On the political front, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stoked U.S. - Iran tensions, after he said that the United States will conduct a "comprehensive review" of its policy toward Iran while warning that 'unchecked Iran' could follow the path of North Korea.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.58% lower at 20,404. The S&P 500 dipped 0.17% and the Nasdaq Composite traded 0.23% higher at 5849.
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