The U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve reiterated its current policy without floating any more stimulus plans.
The Fed on Wednesday disappointed the market by not mentioning any new round of easing plans. It only said it will "closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed."
"Investors are now setting up Jackson Hole for possible stimulus ahead," Stephen J. Guilfoyle, an economist from Meridian Equity Partners Inc., told Xinhua.
He also said the European Central Bank's decision, which will be made on Thursday, now took center stage in the market.
On the economic front, Automatic Data Processing said private sector employment increased by 163,000 jobs in July.
Investors also expected the July payrolls report, which will be released on Friday.
When the market closed, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 32.55 points, or 0.25 percent, at 12,976.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 4.00 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,375.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 19.31 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,920.21.
As for shares, energy shares led the gainers while industrials and utilities led the laggards.
The CBOE Volatility Index, known as the best gauge of market fear, declined slightly below 19.
As for a technical perspective, Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist from S&P Capital IQ, told Xinhua that the stock market remains in a very volatile uptrend.
"With the majority of technical indicators we follow still forecasting higher equity prices over the intermediate term, we still think we could see much higher prices into early 2013," he added.
As for other markets, crude prices gained on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories fell sharply last week.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery added 85 cents, or 0.97 percent to settle at 88.91 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In London, Brent crude for September delivery gained 1.04 dollars, or 0.99 percent to close at 105.96 dollars a barrel.
The U.S. dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Wednesday. The dollar index gained 0.468 to 83.178.