Stocks Fall Amid Earnings Concern

U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Wednesday, after aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (AA) cut its global demand outlook and Chevron Corp. (CVX) issued a profit warning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 128.56 points, or 0.95%, to end at 13,344.97. The S&P 500 fell 8.92 points, or 0.62%, to end at 1,432.56 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.24 points, or 0.43%, to end at 3,051.78.

The U.S. economy continued to grow modestly across much of the nation in the past month, supported by improvements in housing and auto sales, even as the labor market showed little change, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday, based on interviews with thousands of business contacts.

Chevron, the oil company, late Tuesday warned falling crude prices and reduced production would result in “substantially lower” earnings.Chevron’s stock was also hit the day after the Supreme Court declined to halt a $19 billion judgment against Chevron by an Ecuadorean court for polluting the Amazon.

EBay Inc has quietly launched an online marketplace for deals on local services, taking on Groupon Inc and expanding into a potentially big category. Called eBay Lifestyle Deals, the offers are being run in a limited number of urban areas, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

The price of oil is rising Wednesday after the government reported U.S. wholesalers’ sales rose for the first time in four months. Crude for November delivery fell $1.14, or 1.2%, to settle at $91.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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