The Fed's decision to buy long-term Treasurys and sell short-term ones to help get the economy back on its feet was expected. Stocks sank anyway on fears the Fed's statement showed economy was in dire shape.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 283.82 points, or 2.5 percent, and closed at 11,124.84.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 35.33, or 2.9 percent, to 1,166.76.
The Nasdaq composite fell 22.59, or 0.9 percent, to 2,590.24.
The Nasdaq composite fell 52.05, or 2 percent, to 2,538.19.
For the week to date:
The Dow is down 384.25, or 3.3 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 49.25, or 4.1 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 84.12 or 3.2 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is down 452.67, or 3.9 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 90.88, or 7.2 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 114.68, or 4.3 percent.