* Officials' remarks raise concern over stimulus pullback
* S&P 500 falls under its 14-day moving average
* Walt Disney falls after results, Time Warner rises
* Indexes down: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 7 Major U.S. stock indexes fell
for a third straight day on Wednesday, as concerns grew over the
longevity of the Federal Reserve's stimulus policy, which has
been widely credited with fueling the market's gains this year.
In the sessions preceding recent comments by Fed officials,
equities had struggled for direction in thin trading, with major
indexes hovering near all-time highs and few clear catalysts to
drive shares decisively higher. On Wednesday, the S&P broke
below 1,693.95, its 14-day moving average, which had been
serving as a support level.
"We're still only a few points under our all-time high, so
it isn't surprising to see people take profits in a somewhat
frothy market," said Randy Frederick, managing director of
active trading for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
"At these levels, there's plenty of room to the downside
before there's reason to be concerned."
Shares suffered their biggest daily decline since June 24 on
Tuesday after comments from a pair of Fed officials muddied the
water over how soon the central bank might reduce its
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said Tuesday the Fed
would probably scale back its bond-buying program later this
year, perhaps beginning to do so as early as next month
depending on economic data.
That echoed earlier comments by Dennis Lockhart, president
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, though he told Market
News International the Fed might continue its stimulus program
if growth doesn't meet its targets.
"The comments weren't especially out of the ordinary, but
there's not much for the market to be trading off of otherwise,"
Equity markets have been closely tethered to central bank
policy, with many investors concerned that economic growth isn't
robust enough to boost markets without the Fed's help. Last
week, the July payroll report came in much weaker than expected.
Walt Disney Co fell 3 percent to $65.04 a day after
projecting a massive loss related to its film, "The Lone
Ranger," though adjusted earnings slightly beat expectations.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 62.12
points, or 0.40 percent, at 15,456.62. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 6.79 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,690.58.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 10.48 points, or
0.29 percent, at 3,655.29.
Time Warner Inc shares rose 2.6 percent to $66.65
after the company reported a bigger revenue than had been
forecast. AOL Inc rose 2.7 percent to $37.21 after it
reported results and said it would buy Adap.tv, a video ad
platform, for $405 million.
On the downside, First Solar Inc fell 10 percent to
$41.90 after it reported results Tuesday that were below
expectations and cut its full-year outlook. Ralph Lauren Corp
fell 6.2 percent to $177.77 as profits declined. Both
companies were among the S&P 500's biggest percentage decliners.
Of the 418 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings through Tuesday morning, Thomson Reuters data showed
that 67.5 percent topped analysts' expectations, in line with
the average beat over the past four quarters. On the revenue
side, 54 percent have reported revenue above estimates, more
than in the past four quarters but below the historical average.