MarketsUS stocks fall on gloomy corporate news – Financial Times

This post was originally published on this site

US stocks fell on Wednesday, with selling heating up in afternoon trading, as investors eyed a batch of disappointing corporate news.

It wasn’t a cheery news-day for many US groups. Among the big decliners on the S&P 500 index were Staples, which fell after a judge blocked its planned merger with Office Depot, and Macy’s, which tumbled after disclosing weak earnings and Gap having its credit rating cut into junk territory by Fitch.

Macy’s’ fall cascaded across the department store sector, dragging the share prices of several of its peers.

Walt Disney, the blue-chip entertainment group, also skidded after it unveiled quarterly profits that missed Wall Street estimates for the first time in five years.

Every major S&P 500 sector besides utilities was in the red on the day, with consumer discretionary stocks logging the biggest losses. Healthcare, financials and consumer staples struggled as well.

In commodities, US crude oil prices climbed by 3.5 per cent to $46.23 a barrel as a report showed a surprise drop in American commercial crude stocks.