Among the sector activity stories for Thursday, Aug. 15, from AP Business News:

— The shares of a number of U.S. retailers fell after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy's Inc. painted a somber picture of consumer spending.

— Shares of gun makers and retailers declined. An industry analyst said that he believes demand for guns may have peaked.

— Shares of homebuilders rose as an analyst maintained an optimistic view on a recovery in the housing market.