The central bank said it will reduce its asset purchases from $75 billion in January to $65 billion in February, the second consecutive monthly $10 billion pullback.
The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 189.77 points or 1.19 percent to 15,738.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 18.30 points, 1.14 percent, to reach 1,774.20. The technology-dominated Nasdaq composite index shed 46.53 points, 1.14 percent, to 4,051.43.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 729 stocks advanced and 2,401 declined on a volume of 3.9 billion shares.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rebounded, gaining 403.75 points, 2.7 percent, to 15,383.91.
In Europe, London's FTSE 100 dropped 28.05 points, 0.43 percent, to 6,544.28.
The 10-year U.S. treasury was yielding 2.685 percent on a 20/32 gain.
The euro traded higher at $1.3662 and the dollar was lower against the yen at 102.19 yen.
Gold added $18.80 to close at $1,269.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver added 26.7 cents to settle at $19.77 an ounce.
Crude oil added 1 cent to hit $97.42 per barrel on the NYMEX.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, March corn shed 4.25 cents to hit $4.2775 per bushel. Soybeans were off 16.75 cents at $12.6875 and winter wheat gave up 15 cents to $5.51.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]