* GM shares fall; federal prosecutors open criminal probe
* Fuel-cell stocks tumble after short-seller note
* Copper prices fall to lowest since July 2010
* Men's Wearhouse to acquire Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
* Indexes off: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 11 U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday,
with selling picking up late in the session, as investors cashed
in some of the recent market gains, but the S&P 500 finished
less than 1 percent away from a record high set last week.
Indexes had swung between gains and losses in the first half
of the session, as the lack of major corporate earnings or
market-affecting data kept trading directionless, but they
closed near the day's lows.
Shares of retailers American Eagle and Urban Outfitters fell
sharply after disappointing outlooks.
"We just hit highs on Friday so people have a lot of profits
here. They're just taking some money off the table," said Frank
Lesh, futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in
Chicago. The selling "is orderly, there is no rush for the
exits," he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 67.43 points or
0.41 percent, to 16,351.25, the S&P 500 lost 9.54 points
or 0.51 percent, to 1,867.63 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 27.26 points or 0.63 percent, to 4,307.188.
Federal prosecutors in New York are examining whether
General Motors is criminally liable for failing to
properly disclose problems in some vehicles that were linked to
13 deaths and led to a recall last month, according to a source
familiar with the investigation. GM shares fell 5.1 percent to
Shares of fuel cell maker Plug Power plunged 41.5
percent to $6.03 after short-seller Citron Research said the
fair value of the stock was 50 cents. Shares of other fuel cell
makers fell, with Fuel Cell Energy down 16.5 percent to
$3.28, Ballard Power Systems off 25.9 percent to $5.10
and Hydrogenics Corp down 14.7 percent.
Shares in the sector have been on a tear, with Plug Power up
940 percent since the end of October.
Urban Outfitters dropped 4.3 percent to $35.91
after it reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and said
it was "very cautious" on its current quarter.
American Eagle Outfitters slumped 7.8 percent to $13.10
after it forecast earnings for the current quarter that were
short of expectations.
The S&P retail index dropped 0.66 percent.
Men's Wearhouse said it would acquire rival Jos. A.
Bank Clothiers for about $1.8 billion, ending a
five-month saga that started with Jos. A. Bank offering to buy
its larger menswear rival. Men's Wearhouse shares rose 4.7
percent to $57.14 and Jos. A. Bank added 3.9 percent to $64.22.
"M&A activity has been picking up, and it tends to offer a
halo effect on sectors and subsectors involved," said Quincy
Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New
Jersey, pointing to broad support to the market of late coming
from mergers and acquisitions.
Boyd Gaming Corp jumped 16.5 percent to $13.75 a day
after hedge fund Elliott International disclosed a 4.99 percent
stake in the gaming company.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell 2.1 percent,
bringing the decline in the past four sessions to 9.4 percent.
Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange hit their
lowest level since July 2010 under pressure from rising
inventories of the metal and slow demand.
Myriad Genetics Inc lost 8.3 percent to $34.60. The
diagnostics company said a U.S. court denied a motion that would
have stopped rival Ambry Genetics Corp from selling a similar
version of Myriad's cancer test.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co surged 64.8 percent to
$17.96 after the company said its lead experimental drug to
treat chronic kidney disease met the main goal of improving
kidney function in a mid-stage study.
About 6.9 billion shares traded in U.S. exchanges, according
to the latest available data from BATS Global Markets, slightly
above the 6.8 billion daily average so far this month.
Decliners outnumbered advancers by about 2 to 1 on the NYSE
and on the Nasdaq more than 8 issues fell for every 3 that rose.