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May 20, 2014 -- 4:15 p.m. - 05/20/14

Stocks were lower on Tuesdays session. The Dow fell 138 points to 16374. The S&P 500 retreated 12 points to 1872. The NASDAQ declined 29 points to 4096.

The major averages finished in negative territory as disappointing earnings by retailers raised concerns over the health of the consumer. Staples slumped 12.6% to $11.71 after posting quarterly results below consensus estimates. Dicks Sporting Goods dropped 18% to $43.60 on its reduced outlook. TJX Companies fell 7.6% to $53.95 following its weaker-than-expected profit release and guidance. Home Depot bucked the downtrend, gaining 1.9% to $77.96 after increasing its full-year forecast.

Stocks extended their pullback following comments by policy makers. During a speech this afternoon, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser indicated the current pace of tapering may be too slow. At a separate event, New Yorks William Dudley suggested an eventual increase in interest rates will depend on how fast the economy improves.

Nine of 10 sectors were down on the session. Telecom and industrials were the worst performing groups. AT&T fell 2.4% to $35.50. Shares of Caterpillar closed 3.6% lower at $101.56 after reporting a 13% decline in April sales. Utilities were the lone sector up led by NextEra Energy advancing 1.7% to $96.33.

Breadth was negative on issues by 5-2 on the NYSE; 3-1 on the NASDAQ. Composite NYSE volume totaled 3 billion shares.

Treasuries rose with the 10-year note up 10/32 to yield 2.51%.


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