* Investors watch struggling small-cap index
* Deere shares fall after results, Macy's up
* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.04 pct
(Updates to open)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 14 U.S. stocks edged lower on
Wednesday as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares
higher, with the Dow and S&P 500 both modestly coming off their
record closing highs.
Traders are looking for fresh catalysts to keep the market's
momentum going amid mixed readings on the economy from data and
corporate earnings, as well as the ongoing threat that the
tension between Russia and Ukraine could escalate into further
The S&P rose for a third straight day on Tuesday, climbing
above 1,900 for the first time ever though the gains stalled
going into the close.
"I don't think there's a concern about where stocks are, but
investors should pay attention to what's happening in various
sectors since there are some that look expensive, like small-cap
growth," said Oliver Pursche, president of Gary Goldberg
Financial Services in Suffern, New York.
"Economic growth is still there, but a 5 percent correction
is always possible."
Deere & Co fell 1.6 percent to $92.08 after the farm
equipment company cut its full-year sales outlook even as it
reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Macy's Inc
rose 0.2 percent to $57.95 after announcing a dividend
increase of 25 percent, but sales that were below expectations.
Small-cap shares have been in focus lately, with the Russell
2000 index down 0.6 percent in morning trading, extending
a decline of 1.1 percent on Tuesday. Some analysts are concerned
that persistent weakness in small-caps could spread throughout
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.19
points, or 0.21 percent, at 16,680.25. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 2.26 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,895.19.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 1.60 points, or 0.04
percent, at 4,128.57.
Fossil Group Inc was the biggest decliner on the
S&P 500 a day after it gave a second-quarter profit outlook that
was much lower than expected, pressured by rising costs. Shares
fell 8.4 percent to $102.12.
Yahoo Inc bought Blink, a mobile-messaging startup
whose app lets users send messages that will self-destruct at a
time set by the sender, for an undisclosed amount. Shares fell
0.9 percent to $34.09.
Sears Holding Corp fell 0.5 percent to $43.45 after
earlier rising more than 1 percent. The company said it would
hire an investment bank to help explore alternatives for its 51
percent stake in Sears Canada.
U.S. producer prices posted their largest increase in 1-1/2
years in April as the cost of food and trade services surged,
hinting at some inflation pressures at the factory gate.
While the situation in Ukraine has not been a primary market
mover this week, investors continue to watch the situation
closely. On Tuesday, pro-Russian separatists ambushed Ukrainian
troops, killing seven in the heaviest loss of life for
government forces in a single clash.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)