What’s going on in the markets in the middle of August? Mostly nothing … and with no particular economic news of note to offset any bad earnings, stocks made their way south.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was hit hard, falling 0.74% to close at 15337.35, while the S&P 500 lost 0.52% to close at 1685.39. The Nasdaq fell 0.41% to finish the day 3669.27.
Leading the way down on earnings news was Macy’s (M), which fell 4% after reporting disappointing net income of 72 cents per share (vs. analyst expectations for 78 cents) and a decline in same-store sales. M lost over 4% on the day, dragging down other retailers including Target (TGT, -1.6%) and Nordstrom (JWN, -1.1%).
SeaWorld (SEAS) also fell victim to earnings woes, slipping more than 3% after announcing a $16 million loss in the second quarter after posting a $39 million profit in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 3% in the quarter as attendance dropped 9%, to 6.6 million visitors.
Farm equipment manufacturer Deere (DE) tumbled nearly 2% despite posting a higher-than-expected Q2 profit on strong sales of its tractors and harvesters in the U.S. Deere did warn that third-quarter revenues would be down 5% compared to last year, and lowered its full-year 2013 outlook.
On the sunnier side of the Street, Apple (AAPL) continued to shine, surpassing $500 in intraday trading before falling back under — still good for a nearly 2% gain. AAPL’s move comes in the wake of super-investor Carl Icahn formally announcing his “large” stake in the company and promptly suggesting the stock could rise back to the $700 level should the board pushes even bigger share buybacks.
A class-action suit was filed against Microsoft (MSFT) alleging that MSFT provided misleading sales data for the Surface RT tablet. Microsoft took a $900 million inventory write-off on the tablets in its last quarter. MSFT shares lost more than 1% early before rebounding to a fractional gain.
Earnings notables for Thursday include Walmart (WMT), Nordstrom and Kohl’s (KSS).
- Brocade Communications (BRCD): Up 15.8% ($1.09) to $7.99.
- MannKind (MNKD): Up 10.6% (73 cents) to $7.59.
- Kinross Gold (KGC): Up 7.2% (39 cents) to $5.78.
- Cree (CREE): Down 22.2% ($16.85) to $59.91.
- Tripadvisor (TRIP): Down 9.2% ($7.41) to $73.55.
- Moody’s (MCO): Down 6% ($3.50) to $65.50.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL and MSFT.