Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average   finished lower by nearly 55 points on Thursday..
  • Laggards on the Dow included Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO)  , which declined by 2% and 3.7%, respectively.
  • J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) fell 12.5% after the retailer issued a weak outlook.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks fell on Thursday, May 17, amid a sustained rise in crude oil prices, and as Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO)  and Walmart Inc. (WMT) traded lower.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, topped $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 following a surprise report Wednesday, May 16, of a 1.4 million barrel reduction in domestic U.S. oil supplies. Brent crude settled at $79.40 a barrel, up 0.15%, while West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, ended flat $71.47 a barrel.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average    was down nearly 55 points, or 0.22%, to 24,713. The S&P 500    slipped 0.09% and the Nasdaq   fell 0.21%. 

Investors were also focused on Thursday's trade summit in Washington, led by China Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, with the two sides aiming to come to an agreement that would prevent the imposition of U.S. tariffs on around $150 billion in China-made goods.

Walmart posted first-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.14 a share, 2 cents higher than estimates. Revenue of $122.69 billion also topped Wall Street forecasts. U.S. same-store sales rose 2.1% but came in below estimates of 2.5%.

The stock fell 2% on Thursday.

Cisco was down 3.7% after the networking giant reported a good but not great fiscal third quarter, and issued a tepid outlook.

For the current quarter, Cisco said it expects 4% to 6% revenue growth and adjusted earnings of 68 cents to 70 cents a share, in-line with forecasts that called for 5% growth and profit of 69 cents a share.

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) posted a first-quarter adjusted loss of 22 cents share, narrower than estimates that called for a loss of 23 cents, but the retailer cut earnings expectations for 2018, saying it expects to report in a range of a loss of 7 cents to profit of 13 cents. It previously expected earnings of 5 cents to 25 cents a share. The stock fell 12.5%.

Ford Motor Co. ( F) will resume production of its F-150 and Super Duty pickups after a fire at a parts supplier forced the automaker to suspend production, which will hit second-quarter earnings.

Production of the F-150 will restart at the Dearborn truck plant on Friday, May 18, while production of the F-150 and the Super Duty at Ford's Kentucky truck plant and a Kansas City assembly plant will resume on Monday, May 21.

Ocado PLC ( OCDDY) , the British online grocery retailer, reached a partnership with Kroger Co. ( KR) that will pave its entry into the U.S. market.

The deal will see Ocado roll out its online grocery shopping and delivery platform for Kroger's existing business, which generated more than $120 billion in sales last year, in exchange for a 5% stake in the London-based company worth around £183 million ($247 million).

Williams Cos.  (WMB) said Thursday it reached a deal to buy the remaining stake of Williams Partners LP (WPZ) in a deal valued at $10.5 billion that will simplify the corporate structure of the gas pipeline and infrastructure group.

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