After Market: Stocks Tumble as a Wind of Caution Chills Wall Street

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The major stock indexes took big tumbles Thursday as a growing number of investing pundits turned more cautious. There are a couple of Wall Street conferences taking place this week, and some of the big name speakers are worried all of the sudden about the market's near-term prospects.

Also hurting the market -- another drop in the yield on 10-year Treasury notes, and a very weak report on economic growth across Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) slid 167 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 17, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 31 points.

And the Russell 2000 (^RUT), an index of small stocks that we don't follow on a day-to-day basis, briefly fell into correction territory, by which we means it had fallen 10 percent from its recent high. By comparison, the Dow and the S&P hit record highs earlier this week, while the Nasdaq is down about 7 percent from its best level of this year.

Drug and biotech stocks were active today as many companies released research reports at an annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Bristol-Myers (BMY) fell 6 percent on disappointment over its lung cancer drug. The stock is now in the red over the past 6 months. Incyte (INCY) dropped nearly 10 percent after it reported that its drug to treat pancreatic cancer did not show much promise in treating other cancers.

On the upside, Clovis Oncology (CLVS) jumped 16 percent after reporting success in treating some forms of lung cancer.

Separately, Eli Lilly (LLY) fell 3 percent after losing a patent case in Great Britain.

The other sector under fire today was retail, after some disappointing earnings reports.

Walmart (WMT) fell 2-1/2 percent as its numbers missed expectations. Sales have now declined for five straight quarters. It's now in negative territory over the past year. Kohl's (KSS) fell more than 3 percent as net disappointed. J.C. Penney (JCP) lost 3 percent ahead of its earnings report. And a long list of other retailers fell. Macy's (M) and Lowe's (LOW) were both down more than 1 percent, while Sears (SHLD) and Urban Outfitters (URBN) were down more than 3 percent.

What to Watch Friday:
  • The Commerce Department reports housing starts for April at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The University of Michigan releases preliminary results of its May survey of consumer sentiment at 10 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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72 Comments

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toosmart4u

Only way to save this economy is to buy American. Turn your back on the brick and mortar stores and their foreign products. We are a great country to create jobs, but the only problem with that is they are in foreign countries. Crocket, We are #1 in defense spending at 586 billion a year right now and #2 in China at 19 billion a year. We are now building a ship for the Navy at 5 billion dollars.

May 16 2014 at 2:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
teaparty2implode

LOL !!....I bet it was the world wide walk out on the fast food industry. Just think how many millions of dollars lost because of the walk out. What a strong message to send to wall street and corporate America.

May 15 2014 at 11:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
thundarbp

i wish i could take all these comments and send them to washington but no one will listen to you people.they only listen if they hear the ruffle of money.people and jobs donot matter to or so called servants of the people.they will only listen to big banks wall st or the oil corps

May 15 2014 at 10:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thundarbp's comment
Crockett

How much do you want to bet they would listen if a M134 was doing all the talking?

May 16 2014 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
paddleman1928

economy is tanking-any "rally" of the market is computer driven and has no legs. Once again the market has suckered the "little investor" and will crush him soon.

May 15 2014 at 10:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

The creation of low wage jobs will cost this country more harm and create more need for taxes. It's impossible to retrain every age group for jobs that will only disappear or reduce staff as a result of technology or games played by investors seeking the biggest short time gain.

May 15 2014 at 9:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Only living wages will stabilize this country now. Job creation and wages have not kept up with realty therefore the end result can only be negative.

May 15 2014 at 9:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
Crockett

True. When you think about it, this country has the highest concentration of wealth and the highest income gap to assure that things stay that way. In the meantime, as society begins to unravel, we are witnessing law enforcement becoming the US Gestapo, we have higher incarceration rates and prison populations, higher unemployment, the public debt spiraling out of control, all are good jobs are offshore while, the Wal-Marts and other trash employers are paying substandard wages so these unfortunate folks have to rely on the government for subsidies to stay alive. Health care..? You have got to be kidding, right?. So when you add up all these items the sum is staggering and guess who is footing the bill? Yep you are. But I left out one big item that not too many folks even give a thought-- defense spending. We spend more on defense than South Korea, China, Russia Japan and Germany--COMBINED. As of two years ago, we were spending over $700 BILLION. That is almost 1/2 of the federal budget!!!

Is there something wrong with this picture?

Well, guess who is paying for that as well? That's right, you are.

Having said this, the only way to straighten out this economic pigsty is to scrap every incumbent politician. No more career politicians. Dump all the bums!!!

May 16 2014 at 1:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

If you want stable employees you have to pay enough to cover housing, food, medical and other costs. If you think you can maintain even the fast food staff on peanut wages your sadly mistaken. If the fast food chains isn't a career then they will have to close.

May 15 2014 at 9:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
map1246

Fast food chains are substituting capital for labor.

May 15 2014 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fred

What? A house of cards built on sand (read: cocaine money printing injections) can't stand when the wind blows and the sh*t flows? Whudda thunk?

May 15 2014 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

I wonder if the next tech bubble will find less buyers of tech products and services because the middle class decline is sinking like the Titantic? You can not support expensive technology on crap jobs or no jobs. The tech gianst will have to find their money where the jobs are an that is out side of the United States.

May 15 2014 at 9:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
tru.liberal1

The past tech bubble had little to do with demand for tech products, and everything to do with the demand for tech stocks. The stocks will continue to be volatile, as sales of the products continue to expand.

May 15 2014 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savannahswithgod

Free Enterprise has a nice ring to it but the Greed and Extinction that go along with it don't!

May 15 2014 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to savannahswithgod's comment
aicomputers2

That's corporatism; which is the death of free enterprise.

May 15 2014 at 8:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tru.liberal1

Nobody is as greedy as the government goons who take via force that which they cannot earn through voluntary exchange.

May 15 2014 at 9:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply