The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 101 points, about 0.6 percent, snapping a five session win streak. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 9 points, about 0.5 percent, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped another 29 points, about 0.7 percent.
Retail stocks captured a lot of attention Wednesday.
Macy's (M) was little changed after its quarterly report. Earnings were slightly above expectations, but sales slightly below. The company also boosted its dividend by 25 percent. Kohl's (KSS) fell more than 3 percent on word the CEO is planning a management shake-up. Kohl's reports earnings on Thursday morning.
Sears (SHLD) fell 6 percent. It's considering the sale of a 51 percent stake in Sears Canada. J.C. Penney (JCP) lost 3 percent. And Fossil (FOSL), which sells fashion accessories, dropped 10 percent after cutting its earnings guidance.
On the plus side, Kate Spade (KATE) gained 8½ percent as sales jumped. Its stock has soared nearly 70 percent over the past year. And Zulily (ZU) rose 9 percent as the lock-up period expired, allowing insiders to sell stock. The selling wasn't as heavy as expected -– a sign of confidence in the online retailer.
But executives at video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) have been selling shares. The stock fell 2½ percent. Rival game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) fell 8 percent. Its loss was worse than expected.
Biotechs were mostly higher, with Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) all up about 1 percent. But Enzymotec (ENZY) tumbled 32 percent as revenue fell short of expectations.
Elsewhere, Sony (SNE) fell 6½ percent. It expects a loss for the year as sales of electronics have disappointed. New York Times Co. (NYT) fell 4½ percent. It replaced executive editor Jill Abramson.
Whirlpool lost 4 percent. TheStreet.com says the stock broke below a key technical level. And LoJack (LOJN) jumped 19 percent after an arbitration panel dismissed claims in a dispute with a licensee.
What to Watch Thursday:
- The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims and its consumer price index for April at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
- The Treasury Department releases international money flows data for March at 9 a.m.
- The Federal Reserve releases industrial production for April at 9:15 a.m.
- At 10 a.m., Freddie Mac reports weekly mortgage rates, the National Association of Home Builders releases its housing market index for May and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia releases its May survey of manufacturing conditions for the Mid-Atlantic region.