Stocks walked a tightrope between green and red Wednesday, but they lost their footing in the final hour. The Dow closed down 56 points to 17,701. The S&P lost almost 7 points, logging its fifth loss in six sessions. And the Nasdaq shed 16 points to close at 5,067.
News broke in after hours; Barry Diller's IAC (NASDAQ:IACI) is proposing to buy Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI) for $8.75 a share. Angie's List is a company that lets you hire anything from a painter to a babysitter. IAC already owns smaller rival HomeAdvisor.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) posted a blockbuster $14.3 billion in sales during China's online shopping festival called Singles' Day. And, $1 billion of that came within the first eight minutes! The good news couldn't help the stock, though, as Alibaba closed down almost 2%.
U.S. retailers would love some of Alibaba's business. Big names here took a beating Wednesday, with Macy's (NYSE:M) forcing much of the downdraft. The stock was down 14% after the department store chain posted same-store sales that missed expectations.
And a crude reality for oil; prices tumbled below $43 dollars a barrel on the heels of weekly crude oil supply data, sparking fresh worries about growing U.S. crude stockpiles. Oil closed at its lowest levels since the end of August.
Oil wasn't the only commodity taking the plunge. Gold lost its luster, settling at its lowest levels in almost five years.