The Tuesday winning streak is over.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell 76 points. That's well off session lows, but it still ends the Dow's quirky streak of 20 straight gains on Tuesday. That's the longest streak of gains on any one day of the week since 1968. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) lost 9, and the Nasdaq (COMPX) dropped 20.
The decline was set off by comments from Esther George, president of the Kansas City Fed. In prepared remarks, she said it was time for the Fed to scale back its bond buying program.
Most market pros believe that program is the major factor in the market's rally over the past year.
Some stocks in the energy patch lost ground. Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) both fell nearly 1 percent. Valero Energy (VLO) dropped 3 percent.
Retailer Home Depot (HD) fell 2 percent, and a long list of Dow stocks lost more than 1 percent, including Microsoft (MSFT), Boeing (BA), Alcoa (AA) Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and IBM (IBM). Big Blue made a $2 billion acquisition to beef up its cloud computing operatoins.
Merck (MRK) bucked the downtrend, rallying for a second day in a row. It reported positive test data Sunday on a cancer fighting drug.
And GM (GM) gained 1.5 percent. It's being added back to the S&P 500 less than four years after declaring bankruptcy.
G-III Apparel (GIII), which makes goods for the likes of Calvin Klein and NFL teams, soared 21 percent on better-than-expected earnings.
But Dollar General (DG) slid 9 percent. It lowered its forecast for the full year.
Others big movers:
- Salesforce.com (CRM) slid 7 percent after agreeing to pay $2.5 billion dollars to buy a business software maker, ExactTarget (ET).
- Pandora (P) fell 5 percent. That's on top of Monday's 10 percent decline on reports Apple (AAPL) is about to launch a competing music streaming service.
- The biotech firm Biogen (BIIB) also took a hit for a second day in a row, losing another 3 percent.
- And Monster Beverage (MNST) rallied 10 percent on a report that sales jumped last month.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg