NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were falling Thursday as the markets were awash with risk aversion attributable to soft international data and deepening Portugal banking concerns. Weak earnings reports also were fueling the downbeat outlook.
Family Dollar (FDO) moved 0.5% higher despite posting a quarterly profit decline of 33% and missing earnings estimates by 4 cents at 85 cents a share. The results reflect economic challenges facing its core customer and an intensely competitive environment. The company said it would begin selling beer and wine to offset recent weakness.
Potbelly (PBPB) shares were diving 23.5% after the sandwich chain's warning that it expects weak sales for its fiscal second quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 0.56% to 16,889.78. The S&P 500 was giving up 0.52% to 1,962.59. The Nasdaq was stumbling 0.68% to 4,389.17.
"The market shrugged off the rising cost of financing Portugal's debt yesterday and we suspect it's playing catch up, as Alcoa (AA) and Fed minutes fade," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "This type of action suggests a summer trading range is being established," he added.
Markets gained ground Wednesday after the release of the much-watched minutes of the Federal Reserve's chief policy-making committee showed that the central bank is preparing to end its historic program of monetary easing as soon as October. "If the economy progresses about as the Committee expects, warranting reductions in the pace of purchases at each upcoming meeting, this final reduction would occur following the October meeting," the Fed wrote in the minutes if its June 17-18 meeting.