Closing Bell: Stocks Fall on Fed Uncertainty, Macy's Earnings

new york stock exchange traders wall street earnings federal reserve
Richard Drew/AP
U.S. stocks fell Wednesday as investors further speculated on when the Federal Reserve might curb its stimulus measures and after department store Macy's stock fell from a "tough" sales environment.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 113 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,337, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 8 points to 1,685 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) lost 15 points, 0.5 percent, to close at 3,669.

Trading volume has been low as earnings season winds down and economic indicators present a mixed view of growth, complicating predictions of the Fed's next policy action. The Fed has been buying $85 billion in bonds on each month to hold interest rates lower. Some expect the Fed to taper bond purchases as early as September if data shows the economy is improving.

Macy's, which operates its namesake stores and Bloomingdales, dropped $2.16, or 4.5 percent, to $46.34 after its profit fell short of analyst estimates. Macy's blamed shoppers' reluctance to spend for a slip in sales. During the past year, Macy's (M) stock is up almost 27 percent.

Apple rose above $500 for the first time since January, then dipped back below that plateau again, to close at $498.44, up 1.8 percent.

The company's stock jumped 4.8 percent Tuesday after activist investor Carl Icahn said he thinks Apple (AAPL) should be doing more to revive its stock price. Icahn also said he had a large, but unspecified stake, in the company.

Homebuilding stocks have been falling over concern about sharply higher mortgage rates, which could cool demand for homes and squelch a recovery in the housing market. PulteGroup (PHM) lost ground for a seventh day out of the past eight, declining 1.8 percent to $15.10, while Lennar (LEN) fell 1.5 percent to $31.70 and D.R. Horton (DHI) lost 2.5 percent to $18.09.

Other Stocks in the News:
  • Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) fell 4.8 percent to $17.33 after CEO Michael Rapino sold off part of his stake in the concert promotion and ticket selling company. The sold-off shares, detailed in a regulatory filing Tuesday, make up 38 percent of the 1.7 million shares he owned.
  • SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS), which made its stock market debut in April, fell 3.7 percent to $34.98 after the company reported a loss for the second quarter as foul weather and higher ticket prices kept crowds away.
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB) jumped 7.9 percent to $41.29 after agreeing to be purchased for $499 million by the investment firm Paulson & Co.
  • Shares of Brocade Communications Systems (BRCD) climbed to a multiyear high after its posted third-quarter results that topped Wall Street expectations. Shares ended the day up 15.8 percent to $7.99
  • Deere (DE) shares fell 1.9 percent to $82.34 the company said that fourth-quarter equipment sales would fall 5 percent compared with a year earlier. For the third quarter the farm and construction equipment manufacturer reported it earned $997 million, or $2.56 a share, well ahead of the $2.17 a share that Wall Street was looking for.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) said customers waiting for the revamped version of its latest Windows operating system will be able to get the software beginning Oct. 17. The release date for Windows 8.1 is nearly a year after the debut of Windows 8.
What to Watch Thursday:
  • At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims and data on July consumer prices.
  • The Federal Reserve releases industrial production for July at 9:15 a.m.
  • At 10 a.m. Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates and the National Association of Home Builders releases housing market index for August.
These major companies are scheduled to report corporate quarterly earnings:
  • Cosi (COSI)
  • Estee Lauder (EL)
  • Kohl's (KSS)
  • Nordstrom (JWN)
  • Walmart Stores (WMT)
-Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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$17 Trillion in Debt and climbing
High Unemployment
More people collecting welfare and food stamps EVER
Back room Dealing
Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies
No ownership for decisions...............Bush's fault
More Tax Payer funded Expensive vacations than anyother President
The whole world has no respect for Obama

August 15 2013 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well Government manipulates the Market by duping $87 billion dollars a month in the market. The market was based on the free enterprise system. When the government steps in, everything is always screwed up. Our answer is Less government and Less regulations.

August 15 2013 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All B.S. Wall Street Crooks manipulating the Fed.

August 15 2013 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stocks fall on Macys earnings ????? You have got to be kidding. I guess everyone has stock in Macys. That is one of the dumbest excuses that I have heard to protect the inept administration in office.

August 15 2013 at 4:30 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
John N.

Not surpriised. macys has vastly turned into a bargain basement dump. The quality of merchandise has gone down as well. The quality of staff has also diminished. Macys has gotten rid of many seasoned employeees in lieu of cheaper minimum wage newbies. these associates know little of the importance of customer service. Rudeness and plain ignorance from the new staff has created a lose lose situation. As a result, customers are not pleased with inferior service and lower end designer merchandise the store is now peddling. what a shame. Share holders most surely will "dump" their M stock. This department store is a sinking ship.

August 15 2013 at 2:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How we republicans have a narrow mind.

democrats have no mind

August 14 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hee Haw is the liberal mating call to their mascot the Donkey. LMAOOOO

August 14 2013 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



Huffington Post. LMMFAO Huff & Puff the far leftwing rag..........................................

August 14 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes,.....the republican party is very racist. In 2012 87% of the republican party is white.



The bigoted liberal racist rickperrypooped

August 14 2013 at 11:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The Fed should take the position that it will continue its fiscal policies until either its actions result in an unemployment rate of 5%, or Congress gets off its.....and passes a meaningful jobs bill!

August 14 2013 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply