Shares in Garmin Ltd. fell nearly 10 percent Wednesday after the company reported disappointing fourth quarter sales and a restrained early 2013 outlook.
The maker of navigation products based on global positioning systems closed down $3.70.
Most other regional stocks closed lower, including YRC, H&R Block, Sprint, Kansas City Southern, Waddell & Reed, and Kansas City Life.
About the only major regional stock to finish higher was Ferrellgas Partners.
Overall, the stock market posted its biggest loss this year on news that Federal Reserve officials suggested the central bank scale back its effort to keep borrowing costs low.
Minutes from the Fed’s January meeting seemed to catch investors by surprise when they were released at 2 p.m. EST. Several Fed policymakers worried that the bank’s program of buying $85 billion of bonds each month could eventually unsettle financial markets or cause the bank to take losses. Even so, most of the Fed officials thought the economy faced fewer risks than in December.
Judging by the market’s reaction, the Fed appears to be closer to ending its support for the economy than traders had expected, said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at the brokerage BTIG. “We’re at a point now where we’re discussing how we’re going to end this, not whether it’s going to end,” he said.
The S&P 500 index sank 18.99 points to 1,511.95, a loss off 1.2 percent. That’s the biggest one-day drop since Nov. 14, 2012.
By buying bonds, the Fed drives up their prices and lowers interest rates, which have stayed at record lows. That keeps costs low for mortgages and other types of loans.
The major indexes drifted sideways in morning trading then turned lower in the early afternoon after Caterpillar reported weaker sales of its heavy trucks and mining equipment. Stocks fell further after traders had time to digest the Fed minutes. The S&P 500 lost 11 points in the last hour and a half of trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 108 points, or less than 1 percent, to close at 13,927. Merck helped curb the Dow’s fall, rising 1 percent, on news that it teamed up with a Korean drugmaker to create drugs.
The Nasdaq composite fell 49 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,164.
The BATS 1000 fell 238.17 points, or 1.38 percent, to close at 17,067.84.
News that Apple’s major supplier, Foxconn, stopped hiring at its largest plant in China helped push down Apple’s stock. Foxconn reportedly said the hiring freeze was not caused by slumping orders for iPhones. Apple fell $11.14 to $448.85.
Capitol Federal Financial fell 11 cents, or 0.92%, to close at $11.86.
Cerner Corp. fell $1.29, or 1.46%, to close at $87.12.
Commerce Bancshares Inc. fell 31 cents, or 0.80%, to close at $38.62.
Compass Minerals fell 26 cents, or 0.35%, to close at $74.35.
DST Systems Inc. fell 54 cents, or 0.79%, to close at $68.16.
Ferrellgas Partners L.P. rose 34 cents, or 1.69%, to close at $20.44.
Garmin Ltd. fell $3.70, or 9.43%, to close at $35.54.
Great Plains Energy fell 12 cents, or 0.54%, to close at $22.23.
H&R Block Inc. fell 55 cents, or 2.20%, to close at $24.45.
Inergy L.P. fell 10 cents, or 0.50%, to close at $19.86.
Kansas City Life Insurance Co. fell 59 cents, or 1.53%, to close at $37.93.
Kansas City Southern fell $1.54, or 1.55%, to close at $97.54.
Layne Christensen Co. fell 29 cents, or 1.22%, to close at $23.05.
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. fell 77 cents, or 0.75%, to close at $101.39.
Sprint Nextel Corp. fell 11 cents, or 1.86%, to close at $5.79.
UMB Financial Corp. fell 29 cents, or 0.63%, to close at $46.11.
Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. fell 77 cents, or 1.78%, to close at $42.57.
YRC Worldwide Inc. fell 40 cents, or 5.94%, to close at $6.33.