Stocks Sell Off

Stocks Sell Off
Footwear stocks could see unprecedented volatility in 2013.

U.S. stocks were in the red on Wednesday after a run-up earlier in the week, as investors seemed to be underwhelmed by the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its easy-money policies in place.

The Fed said Wednesday afternoon that it would, as expected, keep its monetary policy largely unchanged. But signaling a shift from earlier this year, officials signaled they could either increase or decrease bond purchases, depending on the job market and inflation. Previously, the possibility of increased bond purchases was not explicit.

Many benchmark indices fell 0.9 percent, virtually erasing gains made earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 138.85 points, to 14,700.95, after having gained 127 points over Monday and Tuesday. The S&P 500 lost 14.87 points, to 1,582.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 29.66 points, to 3,299.13.

A basket of industry counters tracked by Footwear News swung to an average loss of 1.3 percent, dragged down by The Jones Group Inc., which Wednesday morning reported a first-quarter that disappointed analysts.

Jones’ stock shed 6.1 percent, ending the day at $13.20 a share. Shoe Carnival Inc. recorded the second biggest loss, slipping 5.3 percent to close at $19.79 a share.

Skechers USA Inc. edged up the most — nearly 1 percent — to close at $20.98. Next was Macy’s Inc., which advanced 0.2 percent to $44.70.