Investors did get an unexpectedly positive August durable goods report on Wednesday. Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 0.1 percent last month, following an 8.1 percent decline in July.
Among stocks making big moves:
JC Penney fell $1.78, or 15 percent, to $10.12, as more Wall Street analysts continued to downgrade the department store chain's outlook. An analyst at JPMorgan Chase said JC Penney might right out of cash by next year.
Mako Surgical soared $13.29, or 82 percent, to $29.46 after medical technology company Stryker said it would buy Mako for $1.65 billion, or $30 per share.
Ascena Retail Group shares jumped $2.74, or 16 percent, to $20.06. The parent company of Lane Bryant, Dressbarn and Maurices, reported results that were significantly better than financial analysts expected in its most recent quarter.