Stocks ended the day significantly lower as relatively flat economic data amid continued speculation concerning the near-term future of Federal stimulus spending.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 was off by 0.52 percent to 1,685.39 points, with the Dow Jones Industrial average down 0.73 percent to 15,337.66, and the NASDAQ closing at a loss of 0.41 percent to 3,669.27.
The New York Federal reserve reported on Wednesday that household debt in the US fell 0.7 percent from the previous quarter to $11.5 trillion with mortgages, the largest component of debt in the US, dropping $91 billion dollars from the first quarter.
July producer price index figures were also released, showing no change from July and missing expectations for a gain of 0.3 percent.
The relative lack of catalysts was accompanied by a relative bloodletting on Wall Street. Services stocks helped to drag the S&P 500 lower, with Moody’s Corp. ($MCO), Macy’s Inc. ($M) and McGraw Hill Financial ($MHFI) all taking significant losses. Oil stocks also contributed downward pressure, with Newfield Exploration ($NFX), Noble Corp. ($NE), and Pioneer Natural Resources ($PXD) all ending the day lower.
Most of the Dow’s components were in the red as well, led by Home Depot ($HD) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), with Boeing ($BA) and United Technologies ($UTX) extending their losses to a second day.
On the NASDAQ, Tesla Motors ($TSLA) ended the day 4 percent lower, while travel website Trip Adviser ($TRIP) ended the day 9 percent lower after CEO Steve Kauffer said on a conference call that sales for the summer had been worse than expected, and hinted that third-quarter results would be negatively affected as a result.
Data storage device-maker Brocade Communications ($BRCD) saw shares up 16 percent by closing after yearly earnings saw the company beating on earnings by about double the amount that had been expected by analysts.