Closing Bell: United Technologies in Activist Sights; U.S. Stocks in Decline

Wall Street pulled back midweek.
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Wall Street pulled back midweek, retreating from a big surge a day earlier that saw stocks close with their best gains in roughly four months. Industrials were among the worst performers. Express Inc. (EXPR) - Get Report rocketed higher after a double-digit increase in e-commerce sales drove the apparel retailer to a better-than-expected quarter. Adjusted earnings of 1 cent a share came in higher than an expected loss. United Technologies Corp. (UTX) - Get Report was one of the few defense stocks in the green on reports of activist investor interest. An investor, possibly Third Point, has been buying up stock to give it better footing to push for a spinoff of non-core businesses, according to The New York Post. Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM) - Get Report was slightly higher after topping quarterly estimates. Sales surged more than 25% and exceeded consensus. Adjusted earnings rose year over year and beat forecasts.