Federal Reserve officials were divided at their last meeting over whether and when to start buying more securities. The Fed's portfolio has more than doubled since 2008, and now holds $2.9 trillion in assets.
Leading the declines were industrials stocks, after a report showed industrial production unchanged in January, disappointing economists' expectations for an increase.
In corporate news, Procter & Gamble said it has terminate the deal to sell its Pringles business to Diamond Foods, and instead will sell the business to Kellogg for $2.7 billion. Kellogg rose 5.1% while Diamond Foods added 5.2%.
Deere fell 5.4% after topping earnings and revenue estimates, but reported farm and construction machinery sales that were below the company's previous forecast.