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August has been a very weak month so far, with stocks struggling as investors worry over whether the Fed will begin to dial back on its stimulus in the near future. By early afternoon in New York, the Dow Jones was down 0.58% or 89 points at 15,362 and the S&P 500 had fallen 0.33% to 1688.6.
Apple has been moving in the opposite direction to the broader market for a second day running, advancing 2.3% to break above $500 per share for the first time since the beginning of the year. This comes just a day after billionaire investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he had taken a substantial stake in the technology giant. The increase in Apple’s share price has helped the NASDAQ 100 to keep its losses at modest levels, with the index falling just 0.2% today.
Retailer Macy’s posted a sizeable earnings miss, with earnings of 72 cents per share versus expectations of 78 cents. That was an improvement in earnings, with 67 cents being achieved in the same period a year earlier, but revenue shrunk, with the company citing consumer uncertainty over spending on discretionary goods. Macy’s also lowered its full-year guidance, sending its shares tumbling 3.6%. CEO Terry Lundgren did strike a note of optimism by saying that the back-to-school season has begun well. Back-to-school spending is hugely important to retailers, and this year has been notable for how early shops have begun promoting the period. Dow component Walmart reports its quarterly earnings tomorrow.