Stocks fell on Wednesday. Yes, you read that right: It was the first serious sell-off in three weeks.
We can point to several factors that drove the market lower, including a World Bank report lowering its forecast for global growth. There's also the fall of several major cities in Iraq to al-Quida aligned forces, the shocking primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and good old-fashioned profit taking after several days of record highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 102 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost nearly 7, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 6 points.
The biggest loser among the Dow stocks was Boeing (BA), down more than 2 percent after a downgrade by RBC Capital. Boeing was one of the Dow's best gainers in 2013, but so far this year, is slightly in the red.
Airline stocks moved broadly lower, hurt by an earnings warning from the German carrier Lufthansa, and concern that its problems could spread across the Atlantic. United-Continental (UAL) fell 5 percent, while American (AAL) and Delta (DAL) both lost 3 percent.
After you get off the plane, you often check into the hotel -- and those didn't do too well Wednesday either.
Hilton (HLT) fell 2½ percent after Blackstone Group (BX) said it will sell more than 100 million shares, though it will still maintain a majority stake in Hilton.
And Marriott (MAR) fell 1½ percent on a ratings downgrade to "neutral" by Macquarie Capital.
But some semiconductor stocks bucked the downtrend. Rambus (RMBS) jumped 5 percent as it raised its sales outlook. The stock is up more than 60 percent over the past year.
Micron (MU) rose 5 percent and Sandisk (SNDK) gained 2½ percent, as Merrill Lynch (BAC) upped its rating on both to "buy." Marvell Technology (MRVL) gained 2 percent on a Nomura Securities upgrade.
Elsewhere, H&R Block (HRB) rose 4½ and Ulta Salons (ULTA) jumped 14 percent. Both topped earnings expectations.
Anadarko Petroleum (APC) gained 4 percent. There was a lot of social media chatter that the company could become a takeover target.
And Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) tumbled 15 percent as the FDA delayed ruling on the company's obesity drug for another three months.
What to Watch Thursday:
- Lululemon Athletica (LULU) is scheduled to release quarterly financial results before markets open in New York.
- The Commerce Department releases retail sales data for May, and the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, and import and export prices for May -- all at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
- At 10 a.m., Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates, and the Commerce Department releases business inventories for April.