Investors interpreted the Fed's decision as a signal that the global economy is weak. Bonds rose and oil fell, pushing down energy stocks. Financial stocks, which would benefit from higher rates, also dropped.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 279 points, or 1.7 percent, to 16,394 as of 2:17 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,960 and the Nasdaq composite declined 60 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,833.