After Market: The Fed Feeds Investor Fears; J.C. Penney Will Survive


The Federal Open Market Committee released the minutes from its most recent meeting Wednesday, and investors didn't like what they read. Fed policymakers were inconclusive about when they'll begin to pare back on their $85 billion a month bond-buying economic stimulus program. They did say they expect it to happen "in coming months," but the market was looking for more clarity.

In response, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 66 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 6, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) lost 10 points.

Earnings season is near an end, and some big retailers moved on their quarterly report cards.

J.C. Penney (JCP) jumped 8 percent. Its loss was worse than expected, but the company sees some positive sales trends. Analysts say the report shows Penney will survive -– which had been in doubt this summer -– but not thrive.

And La-Z-Boy (LZB) rallied 10 percent on an earnings beat and a 50 percent jump in its dividend. But Lowe's (LOW) fell 6 percent. Its net missed expectations and the numbers show it still has a lot of home improvement to do before it can catch up to Home Depot (HD).

And food maker J.M. Smucker (SJM) lost 6 percent after warning about sales. The company, best known for its jellies, also makes Jif peanut butter and Folgers coffee. This comes after disappointing results recently from other big food makers, Kellogg (K) and Campbell's Soup (CPB).

Other Stocks of Note:
  • Yahoo (YHOO) rose 3 percent. It plans to buy back an additional $5 billion of its stock.
  • Priceline (PCLN) , up 2 percent on a Goldman Sachs recommendation. It now trades at $1,145 a share.
  • Tesla (TSLA) lost 4 percent on concern that sales may be slowing.
  • And for the second day in a row, stocks in the 3D printing field ended sharply lower. 3D Systems (DDD) and ExOne (XONE) each lost at least 7 percent, and Voxeljet (VJET) slid another 32 percent. Voxeljet traded as high as $70 a share on Monday; it closed today below $40.
What to Watch Thursday:
  • The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims and the producer price index at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates and the Conference Board releases leading indicators for October at 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly results:
  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF)
  • Bon-Ton Stores (BONT)
  • Delia's (DLIA)
  • Dollar Tree (DLTR)
  • Intuit (INTU)
  • Gap (GPS)
  • Perry Ellis International (PERY)
  • Ross Stores (ROST)
  • Sears Holdings (SHLD)
  • Target (TGT)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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It's hard for the fed to take appropriate action when the administration can't seem to reign in the economy

November 20 2013 at 11:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Big Jim

So, how many times will the Fed pull this stunt? I used to date a gal who turned out to be a "tease" and the fed is acting just like she did. Either put out or shut up!

November 20 2013 at 9:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The breadcrumb trail that many have followed blindly is near the edge of the cliff .... and nobody will want to catch this rapidly falling knife .... MAJOR HAIRCUTS ... not just a trim .....and many deer in the headlight looks of .... GEE .... what has just happened and ...GEE ...that major correction was not in our forecast models .... ....... the market is like a reactor gone critical and they keep cooling it down with Fed $$$$ .... once they stop it or begin the weening off by the Fed .... its going to implode ..... then meltdown ... take profits ... keep your powder dry for another day

November 20 2013 at 9:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

So the stock market gets nervous when the 85 million dollar a month welfare benefit known as government bond buying starts to drop off. Imagine that.

November 20 2013 at 8:44 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to willycruiser's comment

Actually, that's billion, with a B. Which somehow makes it worse. What happened to "personal responsibility" and Ronnie's favorite, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps"

November 21 2013 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tesla\'s drop is simply the beginning. The company is over-valued considering that it sells what can only be described as a \'niche\' vehicle. Their product is priced far outside the range of most buyers, and few of those who can afford it want an electric.

November 20 2013 at 8:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The only markets doing well are the stock market and some regional real estate. This will change when rates go up. We will see behind the curtain that the emperor has no clothes. I hope you all are ready for a very slow recovery of the slowest recovery on record.

November 20 2013 at 7:53 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

First stop calling putting money in the stock market as is gambling, not investing. Second, the Feds will do everything possible to keep interest rates from rising....if they don't then our government will go beyond bankruptcy standards

November 20 2013 at 7:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It is only a matter of time, what we now is ticking time bomb. Artificially low interest rates, spurring
another bubble. We still have 17 trillion dollars of nat debt to deal with and its growing by
the hour. 26% of gdp to health care, 22 gdp to defense.. Almost half of our budget goes
to entitlements and defense. There is no one on god's earth this country is going to
pull itself up by the shirttails and survive this crises. Russia had the same problem,
and look what happened to them. Succession and Bankruptcy.

November 20 2013 at 7:26 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

OK...time to end the \"zero percent\" interest experiment....It doesn\'t work! Banks don\'t want to led long-term on low interest rates and certainly NOT to those without perfect credit...and savers and seniors have suffered enough with NO returns on their nestegg!

November 20 2013 at 6:55 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RANDYTHOMAS711's comment

What will this do to interst on our federal debt?

November 20 2013 at 7:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to willypfistergash's comment

DEBT...what DEBT? With Obama in charge Governement spending has been curbed and the debt has gone down...SARC! lololol

November 20 2013 at 8:21 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

when the fed quits buying treasuries the fed will take a bath trying to liquidate - the fed could easily end up owning the US by printing funny money

November 20 2013 at 6:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply