June 4 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks fight back deep losses but fail to overpower lingering Fed stimulus worries; Dollar General warns; Wal-Mart goes after fresh fruit market, Amazon goes after super market-source; Amazon inks big streaming media deal with Viacom. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street made a valiant attempt to extend its 20 weeks of Tuesday market upswings but failed after a volatile last-half hour of trade. The Dow settled with a half-percent loss and the percentage decline for the rest of the market was slightly bigger. The trigger of the sell-off started just after lunch and the source was familiar: a Federal Reserve official says the economy is healing enough for the Fed to start considering a pullback of some of its bond purchases. But results out of Dollar General suggest the economy is not much better for consumers on the low end. The discount chain slashed its full-year outlook as shoppers flock to lower-cost, lower-margin items. It's rival Family Dollar already cut forecasts twice this year. Shares of Dollar General lost 9 percent. Family Dollar shed over 2 percent. And Dollar Tree gave up more than 1 percent. Wal-Mart competes in the discount space - and is trying to gain an upper hand. It is offering food shoppers a money-back guarantee on fruits and vegetables. Sticking with retail, Amazon.com is planning to roll-out an online grocery delivery service to rival Fresh Direct, according to two people familiar with the matter. Amazon is busy on an another front; it is shelling out more than $200 million, in its biggest content deal ever, to get its hands on TV programming from Viacom. The TV shows will be available for Amazon's subscription streaming media service - which goes head-to-head with Netflix. Amazon shares were down but Netflix gained 1-1/2 percent. Markets in Europe took a different tone than the U.S. thanks to an upbeat outlook from chip maker STMicroelectronics.