Stocks are closing lower, dragged down by weakness in retailers and energy companies. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 56 points, or 0.3%, to 17,702 Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost six points, or 0.3%, to 2,075. The Nasdaq composite declined 16 points, or 0.3%, to 5,067.
Macy's plunged 14% Wednesday after reporting disappointing results and cutting its profit forecast. Other retailers also fell as investors worried that sales could be slow in the upcoming holiday shopping season. Oil and gas stocks fell as the price of crude sank. Benchmark US oil sank 3% to close just under $43 a barrel. Several global beer makers rose after AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, said it had finalized the terms of a takeover of SABMiller. (Read more Dow Jones stories.)