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Stocks Extend Losing Streak on Fears of Tapering Next Month

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks closed off their lows but extended their losing streak to three sessions. Today's move lower came amid renewed fears of a Fed taper. Two more Fed presidents made remarks this afternoon, which worried investors about the possibility of a coming pullback in the central bank's bond-buying program.

Vote Now: What are the chances of a September taper?

Ralph Lauren (RL) fell 9% on its earnings, which were down 6% for the quarter. The company actually beat profit estimates by a penny posting $1.94 for the period. But it came in slightly short on revenue which was $1.61 billion versus expectations of $1.65 billion. The luxury retailer says it faced a pair of problems: currency woes and sluggish sales at its stores. Sales at company-owned stores were up 3%, reflecting the addition of new locations and strong growth in e-commerce.

Time Warner (TWX) and AOL (AOL) both reported earnings today. Time Warner made 81-cents a share, a nickel better than expectations. Revenue also beat at $7.44 billion. CNN and TBS helped with an 11% increase in ad revenue, despite predicted declines in ratings. As for AOL, it posted profits of 35-cents a share, 3-cents above the consensus. Revenue also edged past estimates at $541.3 million. The company had higher-than-expected sales of display and search ads.

Disney (DIS) dipped over 1.5% on its earnings which were released after yesterday's closing bell. The company posted profits of $1.03 a share beating estimates of $1.01. However, revenue was slightly below the consensus at $11.58 billion. Little surprise: the big flop known as the Lone Ranger weighed on the entire corporation. In fact the company could take up to a $190 million loss for the movie. But those losses were counterbalanced by increased revenue from ESPN and the company's theme parks.

First Solar (FSLR) tumbled 13% following the release of a dismal earnings report yesterday afternoon. First Solar made 39-cents a share when estimates were for 56-cents. Revenue was also sorely short, under $520 million when expectations were for close to $730 million. The company also lowered its full-year guidance on both earnings and revenues. Until now shares of First Solar had been up 46% in 2013. Even more impressive, they've been up 126% over the past year.

Zillow (Z) sank over 7% after posting losses of 30-cents a share, more severe than the expectations which were for minus 11-cents. Though revenue beat expectations by about 5% at $46.9 million. Prior to today's drop, Zillow shares were up 220% so far this year.