Stocks fell Wednesday as declining oil prices sent the energy sector lower and investors continued their jittery reactions to corporate earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.48, or 0.02 percent, to 10,709.74. The S & P; 500 slipped 2.18, or 0.2 percent, to 1,264.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 4.60, or 0.2 percent, to 2,260.65.
Local movers were led by Kennedy-Wilson Inc., which gained 10.2 percent to $16.25 and Arden Group Inc., which climbed by 1.7 percent to $89.99. On the down side, shares of Herbalife Ltd. dipped 6.8 percent to $30.80 and DaVita Inc. fell 2 percent to $54.92.
Shares of FirstFed Financial Corp. jumped 9.2 percent to $62.13 after the Santa Monica-based holding company for First Federal Bank of California said its fourth-quarter earnings were up 71 percent from the same period a year before. FirstFed earned $1.67 per share, beating the average analysts' estimate of $1.21 per share.
Ryland Group Inc. sunk 6.4 percent after the Calabasas-based homebuilder's stock rating was downgraded to "sell" from "hold" by A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. On Tuesday, Ryland reported that its quarterly profit rose nearly 50 percent to $3.32 per share. Analysts had expected fourth-quarter earnings of $3.12 per share.
Avery Dennison Corp. rose 1.5 percent to $60.10 after the Pasadena-based office products and adhesive labels manufacturer's stock rating was raised to "overweight" from "neutral" by JPMorgan. A day earlier, Avery's adjusted earnings beat analysts' estimates.
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