Wall Street drops as Disney, Macy’s lead rout in consumer stocks

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(Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as weak earnings reports from Walt Disney, Macy’s and Fossil reverberated across the consumer sector.

Disney (DIS.N) shares were down 4.5 percent at $101.82 after the company posted a rare earnings miss. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow, accounting for about 33 points of the index’s 80 points fall.

Department store chain Macy’s (M.N) tumbled 12 percent to $32.58, while Fossil (FOSL.O) sank as much as 34 percent to a six-and-a-half year low of $26.51 after the two companies slashed their full-year forecasts.

Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the consumer discretionary index’s .SPLRCD 1.42 percent drop.

The index was on track for its biggest one-day fall in three months. The broader S&P retail index .SPXRT was down 1.45 percent.

“We’re getting a lot of news on U.S. consumers today and it isn’t good news,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“Wages aren’t rising and its quarters like these that show that the consumer isn’t too optimistic about the U.S. economy.”

At 11:08 a.m. ET (1508 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 118.51 points, or 0.66 percent, at 17,809.84, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 9.79 points, or 0.47 percent, at 2,074.6 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 20.54 points, or 0.43 percent, at 4,789.34.

The weakness on Wednesday comes a day after the S&P 500 notched its biggest daily percentage gain in two months, offering a spark to rekindle a two-month rally that had petered out in mid-April.

Traders are struggling to find new catalysts to propel the market back toward record highs due to underwhelming first-quarter earnings and mixed economic data that provided little clarity on the path of Federal Reserve’s rate-hike path.

First-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies have mostly beaten analysts’ expectations, but are still estimated to have fallen 5.4 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Macy’s weak report dragged down other department store chains, with J.C. Penney (JCP.N), Kohl’s (KSS.N), Nordstrom (JWN.N) and Dillard’s (DDS.N) falling between 2 to 6 percent.

Fossil’s report, coupled with Macy’s results, weighed on other luxury retailers such as Movado (MOV.N), which tumbled 10 percent and Michael Kors (KORS.N), which dropped 12 percent.

Office Depot (ODP.O) slumped 39.5 percent to $3.69 after terminating its planned merger with Staples (SPLS.O). Staples was down 17.3 percent at $8.56.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,619 to 1,181. On the Nasdaq, 1,571 issues fell and 1,012 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 38 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 41 new highs and 33 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza)