NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell in early trading Friday, following a sharp sell-off in European markets, as investors consider the implications of the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold off raising interest rates. The price of oil fell sharply, pushing down energy stocks. Financial stocks, which would benefit from higher rates, also dropped.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 179 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,494 as of 10.30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 16 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,973 and the Nasdaq composite declined 30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,863.

The Federal Reserve decided Thursday to keep interest rates at record lows for now, citing low inflation, weakness in the global economy and unsettled financial markets. Investors appear worried by the central bank’s concern about the global economy. The Fed meets again next month and in December.

“For the markets, it means more months of uncertainty, which investors do not like,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

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