The S&P 500 was down 0.77% to 1,788.79 in afternoon trading Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.57% to 15,881.81, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.97% to 4,021.01.
The yield on a 10-year Treasury bond rose 0.72% to 2.82%.
The price of gold was off 0.29% to $1,257.40 per ounce.
Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. sank about 23% to $3.31 for a market value of $481.21 million. The drug maker reported on Tuesday a fourth-quarter loss that widened from the year-ago period.
Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. was down about 4% to $7.66 for a market value of $1.29 billion. Zacks Investment Research lowered its rating on the company's stock from "outperform" to "neutral." The action sports retailer and apparel maker is expected to report its quarterly results on Thursday.
Homebuilders were down on Wednesday, a day after high-end homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc.’s quarterly results included slower sales that were attributed to higher home prices.
Irvine-based TRI Pointe Homes Inc. was off about 5% to $18.45 for a market value of $583.12 million.
Standard Pacific Corp., also in Irvine, was off about 3% to $7.97 for a market value of $2.77 billion.
Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes was down about 1% to $20 for a market value of $628.80 million.
Newport Beach-based patent licensing company Acacia Research Corp. was off about 4% to $12.35 for a market value of $619.59 million. The company said this week it opened a Houston office to supports its new energy practice and focus on growth of intellectual property partnerships in that market.