NEW YORK - Stock investors had plenty to dislike on Wednesday.

Disappointing earnings from some big U.S. companies, ongoing jitters in emerging markets, as well as a further reduction to the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus all combined to push stocks lower for a fourth day out of the last six.

The Fed said it will lower its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $65 billion because of a strengthening U.S. economy. The move was largely anticipated.

The S&P 500 index fell 18.30 to 1,774.20. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 189.77 to 15,738.79. The Nasdaq dropped 46.53 to 4,051.43.

MeadWestvaco Corp. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit jumped on the sale of its forestry business and growth in its packaging and specialty chemicals segments.

The company, which has real estate development and chemical businesses in the Charleston area, reported earnings of $681 million for the period ended Dec. 31, compared with $17 million a year earlier.

AT&T posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the final quarter of 2013, helped by higher revenue from mobile and Internet service subscribers.

The nation's biggest telecommunications company said Tuesday it earned $6.9 billion in the October-December period. That's up from a loss of $3.8 billion in the same period a year earlier. AT&T said it added 809,000 net wireless subscribers in the fourth quarter.

Southern Co. says fourth-quarter earnings rose 8 percent as the result of economic growth in the Southeast and a return to more normal seasonal weather. Earnings at the electric utility rose to $414 million.

Chrysler and Fiat will be known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV as they move forward as a single company.

Fiat's board agreed on the new name Wednesday, with headquarters for tax purposes in the U.K. The board sidestepped the thorny political issue of whether the true headquarters would be in the U.S. or Italy.

Shares of the combined company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange and in Italy by Oct. 1 under the symbol FCA.

Fiat and Chrysler also announced earnings. Chrysler's strong profits once again propped up its parent company.

Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment says the game's website was defaced by hackers Wednesday, two days after reports that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies.

Sign up for our new business newsletter

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.


"The defacement was caught in minutes and corrected immediately," a spokesman said. "The end-user data was in no risk at any point."

Reports earlier this week said documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden suggested the NSA and Britain's GCHQ had been able to extract information through smartphone apps, including the Angry Birds. Rovio denied that.

CEO Mikael Hed said the personal details of customers could have been accessed from information gathered by third-party advertising firms.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department is committed to tracking down the thieves who stole information from millions of customers of Target Corp.

In an appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder said the government also will hunt down any people and groups that exploit the stolen data through credit card fraud.

Hackers stole about 40 million debit and credit card numbers in the pre-Christmas heist. They also took information, including email addresses, phone numbers, names and home addresses, of another 70 million.

Staff and wire reports