NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were only slightly lower by late afternoon Thursday, recovering from heavier losses sustained earlier. Crude oil reversed course in the afternoon session, closing with a slight gain.
The S&P 500 was down 0.13%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.23%, and the Nasdaq slipped 0.21%.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.3% to $57.68 a barrel. Earlier, the Energy Information Administration reported a decline of 2.8 million barrels in crude supplies for the week ended May 22. Economists had expected inventories to fall 1.8 million barrels.
Energy remained the worst-performing sector on the S&P 500, however. The sector was under pressure as the U.S. dollar continued its run higher on signs the Federal Reserve would hike rates as key international markets such as the eurozone introduce their own monetary stimulus. The stronger U.S. dollar was hurting perceived demand for U.S. oil traded in the greenback.
Major oilers Total (TOT) - Get Report, Chevron(CVX) - Get Report, BP(BP) - Get Report, and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) were all lower, while the EnergySelect Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report fell 0.88%.
Joy Global (JOY) and Transocean(RIG) - Get Report were among the worst performers on the S&P 500. Joy Global was lower ahead of its earnings report scheduled for release next week. Transocean fell after Chief Financial Officer Esa Ikaheimonen said he is stepping down, effective immediately.
Benchmark indexes recorded their biggest gains in two weeks on Wednesday, snapping back from a selloff on Tuesday. The Nasdaq notched a new record high as technology stocks rallied. Click here for more.
John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, joined a chorus of Fed members and economists who expect a rate hike this year if the economy continues to improve as expected. Speaking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, voting member Williams said he expects growth of 2% and unemployment under 5% this year.
Pending home sales increased in April for the fourth straight month, reaching a nine-year high of 112.4, up 3.4% from March and 14% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. Economists had expected growth of 1% in April.
Jobless claims climbed to a five-week high, adding 7,000 to 282,000. Economists had expected the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits to fall to 270,000 from a revised 275,000 the week earlier. The measure was closely watched ahead of the May jobs report to be released on Friday, June 5.
"The trend in claims, below the pre-recession trough for weeks now, remains in line with our forecast for continued tightening in labor market slack ahead and with our expectation for another solid payrolls report next Friday," said BNP Paribas' Derek Lindsey.
Avago Technologies(AVGO) - Get Report confirmed it was buying chipmaker Broadcom (BRCM) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $37 billion. Avago expects the acquisition to generate $750 million in annual cost synergies within 18 months of closing. Broadcom shares fell 2% after a 20% rally on Wednesday as reports broke on the deal.
Costco(COST) - Get Report fell 1% after missing sales estimates in its third quarter. The company earned $1.17 a share, narrowly beating by a penny, while revenue of $26.1 billion fell short by $530 million.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) - Get Report added nearly 10% despite posting a wider-than-expected loss. The teen retailer reported a loss of 53 cents a share, 19 cents wider than expected. Revenue fell 13.7% to $709.42 million, missing estimates.
Google(GOOGL) - Get Report shares were on watch as the tech giant begins its I/O conference for app developers on Thursday. Google is expected to showcase a new version of Android, and reports said it could overhaul its mobile payment products.
Amazon(AMZN) - Get Report is ramping up its same-day delivery efforts by offering the service for free to Prime members. The service will be available to members living in more than a dozen metropolitan areas. Click here for more.