Macy's sends Wall Street into tumble

NYSE traders Image copyright AP

(Close): US shares shares fell on Wednesday as a poor sales forecast from Macy's revived fears about the future of bricks-and-mortar stores.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 217.23 points to 17,711.12.

The tech-focused Nasdaq fell 49.19 points to 4,760.69, while the S&P 500 was 19.93 points lower at 2,064.46.

Macy's shares fell 15.2% after the retailer reported same-store sales in 2016 were expected to fall by as much as 4% compared with last year.

"People don't go to the malls anymore, they buy everything on Amazon or over the Internet," said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management. "So we have profound winners and losers."

The news effected other retailers' stocks as well. Wal-Mart shares were down 3.5%, while Target fell 5.4%.

The retail slumped also weighed on brands such as Nike, which fell 3.7%.

Disney shares fell for a second day. The media company's stock was 4% lower on Wednesday after its results missed expectations, with both advertising and subscriptions falling at ESPN.

Office Depot lost 40.1% after it ended its planned merger with Staples. Staples lost 18.3%.