Closing Update: Stocks End Lower For Fifth Day; Report Wal-Mart Cutting Orders Erodes Mid-Day Rally


Stocks finished lower Wednesday, with the S&P 500 extending its losing streak to a fifth session as worries about the ability of Congress to avoid a government shutdown or a default on the nation's debt limit dominated trader attitudes. Investors largely shrugged off mixed economic data today on durable goods orders and new home sales, with quarter-end window dressing likely amplifying the selling bias. Most sectors in the S&P 500 closed with losses, although financial stocks held on to a 0.55 advance as a group. Materials stocks also rose as metals climbed in commodities trade.

Stocks briefly turned higher near mid-day although the major averages began drifting lower following a Bloomberg News report that Dow component Wal-Mart ( WMT ) was cutting orders amid rising inventories. A WMT spokesman later refuted the report in comments to a CNBC reporter, lifting the stock off its session low, but the downward slide for the retail giant - and the markets in general - proved too tough to brake.

The Commerce Department said orders for good expected to last three year or more rose 0.1% during August, reversing an 8.1% decline in the prior month and benefiting from a significant gain in transportation orders. Excluding transportation, durable goods slid 0.1%, trailing the market consensus looking for a 1.0% increase.

New home sales increased by an annual rate of 421,000 in August, the Census Bureau reported today, falling slightly below estimates expecting a 425,000 gain. July home sales also were revised 4,000 lower to 390,000. In another sign, the housing market is starting to slow as interest rates rise was the supply of new homes increasing to 5.2 months from only 4.3 months in July.

Crude oil for November delivery settled 47 cents lower at $102.64 while October natural gas added 6 cents to finish at $3.55 per 1 million BTU. December gold climbed 19.40 to settle at $1,336.10 per ounce while December silver rose 32 cents at $21.90 per ounce. December copper rose a penny to settle at $3.27 per pound.

Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 61.33 (-0.40%) to 15,273.26

S&P 500 down 4.65 (-0.27%) to 1,692.77

Nasdaq Composite Index down 7.16 (-0.19%) to 3,761.10


Hang Seng Index up 0.13%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.41%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.30%


(+) MAKO, Robotic surgery company accepts $30 per share buyout offer from Stryker ( SYK ). Deal has total value of around $1.65 billion.

(+) PACB, Enters deal worth as much as $75 million with Roche Holding ( RHHBY ) to develop in-vitro diagnostic products, including gene-sequencing systems and products.

(+) ANW, The supplier of refined marine fuel signs agreement for $1 billion in new revolving credit facilities.


(-) JCP, The retailer fell to a 12 year low amid reports it is looking for additional financing in order to stay in business.

(-) CCL, Shares of the cruise-line company run aground after getting hit with a rash of analyst downgrades after the company yesterday lowered its Q4 EPS forecast.

(-) AIR, Airline supplier reports 6.5% year-over-year drop in Q1 revenue.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: RHHBY , SYK , WMT

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