Updated from 11:56 a.m. EDT

Shares of

AnnTaylor Stores


were among the


losers Thursday, falling 8% after the company cut its fourth-quarter earnings outlook and posted weak November same-store sales data.

The women's clothing retailer now expects fourth-quarter earnings of break-even to 4 cents a share, down significantly from its previous forecast of 28 cents to 32 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 28 cents a share. For November, the company posted a same-store sales decline of 8.3%, which missed expectations by a wide margin. The company's November results were affected by weakness at its Ann Taylor stores and flat performance at its Ann Taylor Loft stores. Shares traded down $1.78 to $20.51.

The New York Times

(NYT) - Get Report

fell 2.4% after the media company warned that fourth-quarter results would fall below expectations. Excluding items, the company expects earnings of 69 cents to 73 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 75 cents a share. Lower-than-anticipated ad sales and higher costs in promotion, printing, distribution, and newsprint contributed to the weak outlook. The media concern also said that it plans to start expensing the cost of options beginning in 2005. Shares traded down 97 cents to $40.09.

Shares of

Family Dollar Stores


fell 2.5% after the discount retailer provided solid November sales results but warned that first-quarter earnings would fall below expectations. During November, same-store sales rose 5.2%. When the company provides first-quarter results on Dec. 17, it expects to post a profit of 32 cents to 33 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share. A year ago, Family Dollar earned 37 cents a share. Family Dollar said that a continuing shift to lower margin consumables and the continuing impact of shrinkage adversely affected profit margins during the just-completed first quarter. Shares traded down 76 cents to $29.20.


(GPS) - Get Report

fell 3.8% after the company posted weak November same-store sales data and lowered its margin expectations for the fourth quarter. Same-store sales fell 4% during November, compared with a 6% increase a year ago. "Although customer response to holiday merchandise in October was initially promising, demand slowed in November," Gap said. Based on November's results and its revised outlook for the fourth quarter, the company said it now expects operating margins of 12.5% to 13% for fiscal 2004. Previously, Gap said it expected margins to be at the low end of 13.5% to 16.4%. Shares traded down 85 cents to $21.63.

Despite announcing an $80 million contract to provide mortar munitions to the U.S. Army, shares of

Alliant Techsystems


fell modestly Thursday. The defense contractor said the contract, which runs through 2009, could lead to total sales in excess of $500 million. ATK had originally won the contract in December 2003, but

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

protested the decision, which led to an Army review. After completing its review, the Army reaffirmed its original decision. Shares traded down 27 cents to $67.14.

NYSE volume leaders included


( LU), down 2 cents to $3.97;

Nortel Networks

( NT), up 16 cents to $3.77;


(GLW) - Get Report

, down $1.04 to $11.80;


(PFE) - Get Report

, up 23 cents to $28.46; and



, up 42 cents to $14.44.


volume leaders included

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, up 28 cents to $7.26;


(INTC) - Get Report

, down 39 cents to $22.71;


(MSFT) - Get Report

, down 16 cents to $27.09;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, down 7 cents to $5.39;


(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 5 cents to $19.20; and

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, down 22 cents to $17.50.