NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks closed lower after a report that showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, putting the brakes on a January rally that has pushed stocks toward record levels.
The Federal Reserve also said growth "paused" in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost the sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing costs low for the foreseeable future.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44 points to 13,910, its biggest decline in three weeks. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 6 points to 1,501. The Nasdaq composite fell 11 points to 3,142.
Declining stocks outpaced advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was above average at about 3.7 billion shares.