Wall St falls back from record highs; small caps drop

Written by Reuters | New York | Updated: May 15 2014, 07:07am hrs
USMacy's dipped 0.5 pct to $57.55 after its sales missed expectations. The S&P retail index was down 1 pct. Reuters
U.S. stocks slipped on Wednesday, a day after the Dow and S&P 500 hit record closing highs, as small caps sold off and shares of retailers declined.

Leading declines on the Dow and S&P was IBM. Its shares fell 1.7 percent to $188.94 after it said in a filing that it expects hardware profit to be flat year-over-year in 2014.

Macy's dipped 0.5 percent to $57.55 after its sales missed expectations. The S&P retail index was down 1 percent.

Retailer Fossil Group Inc was the biggest percentage decliner on the S&P 500 a day after it gave a second-quarter profit outlook that was much lower than expected, pressured by rising costs. Shares fell 9 percent to $101.45.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks dropped 1.4 percent, underperforming the three major indexes and extending a divergence that has been pronounced throughout 2014. Some analysts are concerned that persistent weakness in small-caps could spread throughout the market.

The S&P is coming off three straight daily advances. On Tuesday it climbed above 1,900 for the first time.

U.S. data showed potential signs inflation pressures may be creeping up. Producer prices recorded their largest increase in 1-1/2 years in April as food prices surged.

"A lot of people are looking for evidence to confirm the tough winter was the only reason we saw slowing," in activity, said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 102.75 points or 0.61 percent, to 16,612.69, the S&P 500 lost 9.56 points or 0.5 percent, to 1,887.89 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 28.40 points or 0.69 percent, to 4,101.764.

Deere & Co fell 2.3 percent to $91.43. The farm equipment company cut its full-year sales outlook even as it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Shares of online retailer Zulily Inc shot up 8.2 percent to $34.66, rebounding after dropping to a record low earlier in the day following the expiration of its lockup period.