Wall Street lost midday gains Wednesday, as investors worried that a half-point cut in interest rates would not be enough to fix an economic downturn.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average momentarily spiked 0.6 percent after the Federal Reserve announcement, but lost 0.3 percent for the day, closing at 12,440.96, while the S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent to 1,355.56.
After a short-lived rally retail shares sank, with the S&P Retail Index losing 1.1 percent to 405.46.
High-end department store Nordstrom Inc. dropped 3.8 percent to $36.73. Gap Inc. shed 3 percent to $18.32. Tween Brands fell 4.8 percent to close at $31.07, while teen retailer Aéropostale Inc. slid 2.5 percent to $26.12. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was one of the few retailers able to hang onto gains, ending the day up 0.3 percent to $49.14.
Action sports apparel retailer Zumiez Inc. jumped 2.8 percent to $17.80, while Coldwater Creek Inc. increased 3.8 percent to close at $5.72.
But the biggest gainer was Stein Mart Inc., soaring 10.1 percent to $6.08, after its chairman announced he would purchase 111,400 shares of the company.
Earlier in the day, the Fed lowered the benchmark federal funds rate to 3 percent, its second cut in two weeks.
In a release, the Fed said, "Today's policy action, combined with those taken earlier, should help to promote moderate growth over time and to mitigate the risks to economic activity. However, downside risks to growth remain."
Retailers and investors also are looking for a boost from an economic stimulus package being crafted in Washington that contains tax rebates aimed at putting money in consumers' hands by June. The Senate Finance Committee passed a $161.3 billion package Wednesday that is broader than a plan backed by President Bush and passed by the House on Tuesday.
The Senate bill could go to the full chamber for a vote by the end of the week. If the Senate passes its bill, the differences between the Senate and House measures will have to be reconciled in a conference committee before it can move to the president's desk. President Bush has said the bill could be delayed or derailed if the Senate makes too many changes to the compromise legislation he struck with House leaders.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)