NEW YORK CITY: US stocks Wednesday closed lower after anemic inflation data and a disappointing earnings report from Macy's suggested economic weakness.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 113.35 (0.73 percent) at 15,337.66.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 8.77 (0.52 percent) to 1,685.39, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 15.17 (0.41 percent) at 3,669.27.
Art Hogan, head of product strategy at Lazard Capital Markets, said flat producer prices in July and Macy's disappointing performance suggested a picture of weaker US economic growth.
Macy's dropped 4.5 percent after earnings came in at 72 cents per share, six cents shy of expectations. Revenues also came in lower than expected as the longtime retailer cited "consumers' continuing uncertainty about spending on discretionary items in the current economic environment."
Technology icon Apple continued to ride the wave from Carl Icahn's investment announced Tuesday. Shares rose 1.8 percent Wednesday.
The biggest percentage declines in Dow blue chips came from Boeing (down 2.0 percent), Johnson and Johnson (down 2.5 percent) and Home Depot (down 2.5 percent).
Online travel company TripAdvisor fell 9.2 percent following downbeat remarks from the company's chief executive. CEO Steve Kaufer told a Boston conference the summer has been "bumpier" than forecast, according to Investors Business Daily.
Farm-equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. fell 1.9 percent despite besting earnings expectations by a wide margin. Profits came in $2.56 per share compared with expectations for $2.17.
Steinway Musical Instruments shares gained 7.9 percent to $41.29 after hedge fund group Paulson & Co. sealed a $40 a share, $512 million bid to take over the company.
The rise above $40 suggests some investors still see a chance for a bidding war even after Kohlberg & Co. threw in the towel earlier this week after Paulson entered the fray with a superior offer.
LED chip and lighting maker Cree sank 22.4 percent after it issued a dimmer-than-expected forecast for fiscal first quarter earnings
Bond prices were little-changed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury was flat at 2.71 percent, while the 30-year slipped to 3.75 percent from 3.76 percent late Tuesday. Bond prices and yields move inversely.