The Dow dipped roughly a tenth of a percent, the S&P 500 shed nearly six-tenths, while the Nasdaq plunged more than 1 percent.

Equities have struggled lately, despite a rally that closed out 2023 and extended into the first quarter of this year. The S&P is on pace for its third straight weekly loss as investors have dialed back expectations for the timing and size of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Mike Mussio is president of FBB Capital Partners.

"There are a lot of participants expecting five to six rate cuts coming into 2024, though the Federal Reserve never said that there were going to be five to six rate cuts. Those expectations have been tempered down to about two to three, and now we're kind of looking at maybe one to two. So, at the macro level, if you don't think that there are going to be cuts and easier monetary policy, then you're going to get a little bit of volatility in risk assets."

Dragging down both the Dow and S&P on Wednesday... shares of Travelers, which tumbled nearly 7.5% after the insurance giant missed Wall Street expectations for first-quarter profit.

Also weighing on the S&P were Prologis, with the warehouse-focused real estate investment trust dropping more than 7%...

and Abbott Laboratories, which fell 3% after topping quarterly estimates but disappointing on its annual forecast.

JB Hunt Transport Services slumped more than 8% and was the worst performer on the S&P after the trucking firm missed Wall Street estimates for first-quarter results.

One bright spot was United Airlines, which surged nearly 17.5% after the airline forecast a stronger-than-expected profit for the current quarter based on strong demand.