After six straight record highs for the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI), the market finally looks like it's running out of steam. Even though positive data on U.S. retail sales showed a continuing willingness among American consumers to keep spending, nearly half of the 1.1% increase came from the impact of gasoline, which has seen prices rise substantially so far this year. Perhaps more importantly, after such a long run of strong performance, investors might simply be taking a break. By 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow was down a modest 14 points, with broader markets also falling slightly.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is one of the biggest losers in the Dow, falling about 1%. The aluminum giant didn't have any company-specific news to explain the move, but weakness in international stock markets points to the macroeconomic fears of sluggish growth in emerging-market countries and the potential for an even worse recession in Europe. Until global markets start to rebound more convincingly, it'll be hard for Alcoa to expect better conditions in the aluminum market.
Elsewhere, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI) plunged more than 36% following warnings that its lead product Fusilev is finally seeing sales succumb to generic competition. Spectrum enjoyed a long run of strong sales due to shortages of leucovorin, the generic version of the drug, but now Spectrum says the good times may be coming to a halt as hospitals and other customers find new supplies of the generic and cutt back on more expensive Fusilev.
Finally, Dole Food (UNKNOWN:DOLE.DL) fell 7.3% after posting a worse-than-expected loss and falling well short of analysts' sales estimates. The company cited "banana market conditions" for the decline, but the key for the company going forward is how it will adjust to the sale of its packaged-foods and Asian fresh-fruit business units to Itochu. With much lower debt after the sale, Dole needs to demonstrate that the strategic move wasn't a mistake.
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