by Marc Bastow | August 14, 2013 4:50 pm
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).
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL and MSFT.
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