Some of the leading retailers catering to teens had one of those bad hair, acne outbreak kind of days Tuesday, and helped lead the market downward. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 67 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 9, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 27 points for its fourth declining day in a row.
As for those retailers: American Eagle (AEO) fell nearly 8 percent as both earnings and sales declined and the company warned business conditions "remain challenging." Urban Outfitters (URBN) fell 4 percent as a key measure of sales tumbled. And in sympathy, competitor Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) fell nearly 3 percent.
On the upside, J.C. Penney (JCP) rose 3 percent after Citibank raised its rating to "buy." After a steep decline in January, the stock has rebounded nicely; it's up more than 50 percent over the past month.
Macy's (M) gained 1½ percent on a Wells Fargo upgrade to "outperform." Dick's Sporting Goods(DKS) rose 4 percent after issuing an upbeat outlook. And two men's retailers that have been at war with each other for the past six months finally made peace. In fact, they're getting married. Men's Wearhouse (MW) gained more than 4 percent after agreeing to acquire Jos. A. Bank (JOSB), which rose nearly 4 percent.
Among the blue chips, McDonald's (MCD) was the big gainer, up nearly 4 percent, but DuPont (DD), United Technologies (UTX) and Goldman Sachs (GS) all lost about 2 percent.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%And General Motors (GM) skidded 5 percent on news that Congress plans investigations into the company's slow response to recall cars for a defect that has apparently been causing serious accidents for the past decade.
Over the past few days we've been telling you about the red-hot stocks in the fuel cell industry, which raised concerns that a real bubble was developing, but it may have popped today. Plug Power (PLUG) lost 41 percent and Ballard Power (BLDP) fell 24 percent.
Elsewhere, Myriad Genetics (MYGN) fell more than 8 percent. A court refused to block a competitor from offering a genetic test for breast cancer – a test that Myriad had a monopoly on until recently.
But La Jolla Pharmaceuticals (LJPC) soared 65 percent on positive test results from its treatment for chronic kidney disease.
What to Watch Wednesday:
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports mortgage applications for the week ending March 7 at 7 a.m. Eastern time.
The Treasury Department releases its budget for February at 2 p.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.