Shares of

Hartmarx

( HMX) were among the

NYSE's

losers Wednesday, falling 16% after the apparel maker posted third-quarter results that fell below Wall Street forecasts.

The company earned $6.6 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $152.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 19 cents a share on sales of $166 million. A year ago, the company earned $5 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $155.8 million. Hartmax said that softening demand from retail customers during August resulted in some shipments being pushed into the fourth quarter.

"Retail sales have generally been sluggish recently, and near-term expectations are being impacted unfavorably by high gas prices and the uncertainty of the aftermath of the hurricanes," the company said.

Looking ahead, Hartmarx now expects full-year earnings growth of 30% to 40%, down from its most recent guidance of 40% to 45%. Shares were trading down $1.29 to $6.90.

First Marblehead

fell 17% after the company announced the immediate resignation of its chief executive officer. The educational lender said it accepted Daniel Meyers' resignation after learning that he had exchanged gifts with a former employee who worked for a major client of the company. Meyers, who co-founded First Marblehead in 1991, said the gifts were purchased with money from personal funds. The gifts had a total value of about $32,000.

"The company has reviewed its records and believes that no corporate funds were involved in this matter," First Marblehead said. Jack Kopnisky, who serves as president and chief operating officer, will replace Meyers as CEO. In addition to his new role, Kopnisky will continue to serve as president and COO. Shares were trading down $4.43 to $22.37.

Shares of

McCormick

(MKC) - Get Report

rose 3% after the spice maker posted third-quarter earnings that topped forecasts. The company earned $48 million, or 35 cents a share, on sales of $622.7 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 34 cents a share on sales of $628.1 million. A year earlier, the company earned $46.2 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $613.5 million.

Looking ahead, McCormick reiterated its full-year earnings guidance of $1.58 to $1.62 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.59 a share. Shares were trading up $1 to $32.

Steris

(STE) - Get Report

fell 5% after the maker of sterilization products said second-quarter earnings would fall below expectations. The company now expects earnings of 21 cents to 22 cents a share on sales growth of 7% to 8%. Previously, the company said it would earn 26 cents to 28 cents a share on sales growth of 7% to 9%. Analysts expect earnings of 27 cents a share on sales of $284.8 million. Shares were trading down $1.31 to $23.77.

Shares of

Activision

(ATVI) - Get Report

traded actively after the company announced a 4-for-3 stock split. The split will be payable Oct. 24 to shareholders of record on Oct. 10. "The stock split was motivated by a strong desire on our part to obtain a broader range of investors and improve the market liquidity in our stock and by our confidence that the value of our stock will continue to increase over time," the company said. Shares were recently trading down 4 cents to $19.96.

NYSE volume leaders included

Lucent Technologies

( LU), up 9 cents to $3.19;

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

, down 99 cents to $17.53;

Nortel Networks

( NT), up 6 cents to $3.27;

Cemex

(CX) - Get Report

, up 81 cents to $50.95;

Delphi

( DPH), up 14 cents to $2.89; and

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 29 cents to $25.09.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

JDSU

(JDSU)

, up 3 cents to $2.21;

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 30 cents to $25.64;

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

, up 21 cents to $2.65;

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, down 11 cents to $6.40;

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, down 8 cents to $12.25;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 27 cents to $24.10; and

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 24 cents to $17.96.