Stocks fall; Canadian shooting cited; Dow off 100 pts

U.S. stocks turned lower on Wednesday, following the S&P 500’s biggest jump in a year, as investors considered quarterly earnings from Yahoo and other companies and the shooting of a soldier in Ottawa and reports of gunfire near Canada’s Parliament.

“It hits close to home, and with everything going on in the world, perhaps it’s a contributor,” Stephen Carl, head equity trader at the Williams Capital Group, said of the situation in Canada’s capital, where lawmakers reportedly had barricaded themselves in their offices.

Boeing declined after the plane manufacturer reported quarterly results, as analysts questioned the costs of its 787 Dreamliner; Yahoo rose after the search engine reported quarterly results that topped estimates.

The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1 percent in September after falling 0.2 percent the prior month.

“Commodity prices are the main factor keeping a lid on the inflation stats as services inflation remains above 2 percent month after month,” Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, noted in emailed commentary.

DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average 16516.50 -98.31 -0.59%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 1934.34 -6.94 -0.36%
NASDAQ Nasdaq Composite Index 4404.24 -15.24 -0.34%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 62.20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,552.61.

The S&P 500 shed 4.27 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,937.01.

The Nasdaq declined 18.75 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,400.73.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, rose 7.2 percent to 17.24.

Decliners pulled ahead of advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, where 339 million shares traded by 12:55 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume cleared 1.8 billion.

Getty Images A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Getty Images
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

“After the best day of the year, you tend to have exhaustion of enthusiasm, where people settle in and say, ‘wait a minute, we’re up four percent in four days. In a week we went from the sky is falling to pressing up to the old highs’,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

“As far as today’s concerned, we’ll likely consolidate yesterday’s gains, and may for a day or two, and after that, it’s off to the races again,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital..

U.S. consumer prices climbed marginally last month as energy prices declined, illustrating tame inflation that should allow the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low for a time.

The U.S. dollar gained against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans, rose 1 basis point to 2.232 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery fell $7.70, or 0.6 percent, to $1,244.00 an ounce and and crude-oil oil futures for December turned lower, down 36 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $82.13 a barrel..

U.S. stocks surged on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite extending gains into a fourth day, as investors embraced earnings from corporations including Apple, Texas Instruments and United Technologies.

Read More Best day of 2014 for S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite

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