United States stock markets fell significantly after Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago stated that the labor market is showing improvement and he indicated  the possibility that the government might taper its bond buying program in September.

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Evans projected that U.S. economy’s growth annual growth rate in the second half of the year will increase to 2.5% and by more than 3% next year. He supported the timetable provided by Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke that the Federal Market Open Market Committee (FOMC) will start reducing its $85 billion assets purchasing program in the latter part of this year, and will end by mid of 2014.

In reaction to Evans’ statement, the stock markets ended Tuesday trading in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) 15,507 down by -104.35, S&P 500- 1,696 down by -10.77, NASDAQ- 3,664 down -28.77, Russell 2000- 1052 down by -10.33

Stock Activity

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO)

Shares of American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) plummeted significantly on Tuesday. The stock declined by 14% to $17.19 per share from its previous closing price at $19.97 a share after the company cut its EPS guidance to $0.10 from its previous estimate at around $0.19 to $0.21 earnings per share. Management said the reduction was due to weaker than expected sales and margins.

Ebix Inc (EBIX)

Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX) declined by more than 7% to around $10.90 per share from its opening price at $11.82 per share on Tuesday. The decline was prompted by reports that the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia launched an investigation regarding accusations of intentional misconduct or money laundering related to the pending shareholder class action lawsuit against its leadership. The company said the lawsuit has no merit and it is cooperating with the investigation.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

The stock value of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) fell by more than 2% to around $190.72 per share after analysts at Credit Suisse downgraded their rating for the stock to Underperform with a price target of $175 per share, a 10% downside. In addition, the stock was also negatively impacted by the announcement of the company that its employees in its hardware unit will take a one week furlough with reduced pay this month.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)

Shares of the embattled century old department store chain, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) plummeted by 6% and managed to regain some of its value and ended the trading day with a decline of more than 4% to around $13.27 per share. The decline was prompted by a comment of JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss that he is concerned about the company’s rate of cash burn. J.C. Penney said it will end the current period with $1.5 billion in cash.  There were also rumors that the company’s CFO, Kenneth Hannah is planning to resign.

The Washington Post Company (WPO)

The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) gained by more than 4% to around $592 per share after the company agreed to sell itself to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) for $250 million in cash. Meanwhile, the stock value of the e-commerce giant was slightly down to approximately $300 per share.