Macy's stock plunges as revenue drop was larger than expected
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U.S. stock-market indexes traded modestly lower Thursday as investors digested a slew of earnings reports and economic data.
The Nasdaq Composite retreated from a record set as sentiment was dented following a tumble in shares of Snap Inc.(SNAP) The parent of Snapchat late Wednesday reported a $2.2 billion loss in its first quarter after IPO. The tech-heavy index was down 31points, or 0.5%, to 6,098.
The S&P 500 also retreated from its record close, declining 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,389, with all 11 main sector trading lower. Consumer discretionary stock led the decliners, down 0.7%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63 points, or 0.3%, to 20,880. Among the 30 blue-chip companies, only five were trading in positive territory. Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) and Intel Corp (INTC) were leading the losses, down more than 1%.
Higher oil prices failed to support stocks Thursday. U.S. crude prices added to Wednesday's gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-boosted-by-signs-us-crude-glut-is-shrinking-2017-05-11) with a 1.3% rise to $47.95 a barrel, on the heels of data showing the biggest weekly drawdown for inventory since December, but energy shares were trading nearly flat.
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"Both corporate earnings and economic data were pretty good in the first quarter and underpinned the rally so far. But with earnings season almost over, we might see some sideways moves until June when the Fed is likely to raise rates," said Mark Kepner, managing director of sales and trading at Themis Trading.
Kepner noted that very low levels of realized and implied volatility increase the odds of pullbacks in the near term.
The measure of implied volatility on the S&P 500, the CBOE Volatility Index , was up 6.6% at 10.89, hovering near historical lows.
Calling the Fed's bluff: The prior session's moves came after the shock firing of FBI Director James Comey, but the stock market's reaction to this was fairly sanguine (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-the-stock-market-isnt-freaking-out-about-the-comey-firing-2017-05-10), despite questions over whether it would crimp U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to push through market-friendly policies.
Joel Kruger, currency strategist at LMAX Exchange, said that while politics could factor into stock movements, Federal Reserve policy will likely dictate the direction for equities.
"Conversations about a stock market top are certainly not without merit. But it has also been abundantly clear stocks will only be at risk when the market truly believes the Fed isn't going to fold its hand when it comes to forward guidance," Kruger wrote in emailed comments.
"We may be getting close to that point, but until then, investors will keep pushing their bets and calling the Fed's bluff," he said.
Early Thursday, New York Fed President William Dudley said trade protectionism is a "dead end" that will eventually harm the U.S. economy, Reuters reported (http://www.nasdaq.com/article/in-trumps-shadow-fed-official-says-trade-barriers-a-dead-end-20170511-00297). The comments, in a speech on the benefits and challenges of globalization in Mumbai, were seen as implied criticism of Trump's policies, even though Dudley did not mention the U.S. leader by name.
As for economic data, weekly jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 236,000, while continuing claims fell to the lowest level since November 1988. Low levels of layoffs underline a strong labor market.
U.S. producer prices showed a broad-based gain in April, making for the largest annual advance in five years.
Stock movers: Shares of Snapchat parent Snap tumbled 19% after the messaging app reported a $2.2 billion loss (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2017/05/10/snap-user-growth-to-be-key-focus-in-first-earnings-report-live-blog/) in its first set of earnings since going public.
Read: Snap's CEO is the key to that huge loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-snap-lost-22-billion-in-its-first-quarter-as-a-public-company-2017-05-10)
Shares of Macy's Inc.(M) fell 14% after the retailer reported a worse-than-expected slide in revenue in the first quarter.
Straight Path Communications Inc.(STRP) shares sank 20% after the company confirmed an agreement to be bought by Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) in a deal that values Straight Path at a deep discount to Wednesday's closing price (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/straight-paths-stock-plunges-after-verizon-merger-deal-2017-05-11).
Whole Foods Market Inc.(WFM) rose 1.8% after the grocery-store chain announced a new stock buyback plan () and released earnings that met forecasts.
Other markets: Asian markets finished higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-gains-lift-most-asian-markets-but-china-sags-on-liquidity-worries-2017-05-11), with China squeezing out a gain of 0.1% as investors fretted over liquidity worries. European stocks traded lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/italian-banks-a-bright-spot-as-european-stocks-fall-back-2017-05-11) while the FTSE 100 rose (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-adrift-ahead-of-bank-of-englands-super-thursday-update-2017-05-11) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-adrift-ahead-of-bank-of-englands-super-thursday-update-2017-05-11) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-adrift-ahead-of-bank-of-englands-super-thursday-update-2017-05-11).
Read:Italian banks a bright spot as European stocks fall back (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/italian-banks-a-bright-spot-as-european-stocks-fall-back-2017-05-11)
Gold prices traded modestly higher as the U.S. Dollar index was flat.
The yield on a 10-year Treasury note inched 2 basis points lower to 2.399%.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 11, 2017 12:17 ET (16:17 GMT)