The S&P 500 was flat, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.14%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.07%.
Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) fell 5.6% after reporting a triple-digit increase in revenue, though a far wider quarterly loss than expected. The electric automaker reported a loss of $1.33 a share, far steeper than an anticipated loss of 81 cents a share. Revenue surged 134.8% to $2.7 billion, $90 million above consensus. Over the first quarter, Tesla made a record 25,051 deliveries. Tesla said initial production of its Model 3 was on track for July.
Facebook (FB - Get Report) was also lower despite better-than-expected earnings over the quarter. Net income of $1.04 a share beat estimates by 17 cents thanks to strong ad sales growth and a steady increase in its active user base. Sales surged 49.3% to $8.03 billion, $200 million higher than anticipated. Ad revenue increased 51% to $7.86 billion, while monthly active users grew 18%.
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Media stocks were sharply lower on Thursday after worrisome advertising trends from some of the industry's top companies. Viacom (VIAB - Get Report) and AMC Networks (AMCX - Get Report) each posted a drop in ad revenue over their recent quarter, a day after Time Warner (TWX) saw the same. Other media stocks in the red on Thursday included Comcast (CMCSA - Get Report) , Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) , CBS (CBS - Get Report) , and Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) .
Factory orders in March grew at half the pace expected by analysts. The Census Bureau reported a 0.2% increase in March, down from a revised 1.2% increase in February and below consensus of 0.4%. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.3%. New orders for manufactured goods have risen in eight of the past nine months.
Jobless claims sank in the past week, holding at multi-year lows. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 to 238,000, beating an estimated decrease to 246,000. The less volatile, four-week claims average increased by 750 to 243,000. The four-week continuing claims average sat at its lowest in nearly thirty years.
U.S. productivity in the first quarter fell by 0.6%, while output rose 1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hours worked increased 1.6% over the period from January to March and unit-labor costs gained 3%.
Wall Street was also looking ahead to the release Friday of the nonfarm payrolls report. Analysts anticipate data to show 193,000 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy in April and for the unemployment rate to tick up to 4.6%. Average hourly earnings are expected to grow 0.3%. The U.S. added 235,000 and 98,000 jobs over February and March, respectively, the first full two months under Donald Trump's presidency.
Not all analysts expect quite a strong headline number, though. Analysts at TD Securities expect 165,000 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy in April, though anticipate a slightly stronger 0.4% growth rate in earnings.
"We see limited upside this month as we believe a slower pace of job growth is gradually emerging, consistent with nearing full employment," TD Securities analysts wrote in a note. "Data in the past week is also supportive of our below-consensus call; in particular we take note of the ISM non-manufacturing employment print, which held at levels consistent with gains closer to 100k."
The U.S. trade deficit decreased by 0.1% in March to $43.7 billion. Exports fell by 0.9% to $191 billion, while imports dipped 0.7% to $234.8 billion.
Fitbit (FIT - Get Report) surged 12% after exceeding estimates on its top- and bottom-line. The fitness tracker company reported a net loss of 15 cents a share, 3 cents narrower than expected. Revenue slumped nearly 41% to $298.9 million, $18 million above forecasts.
Square (SQ - Get Report) climbed 11% on a better-than-expected first quarter and a surprise profit. Quarterly earnings of a nickel a share surprised analysts looking for a net loss of 8 cents a share. Sales climbed 21.7% to $461.55 million, $10.9 million higher than targeted.
Kraft Heinz (KHC - Get Report) was up 2% despite falling short of earnings expectations over its first quarter. Adjusted profit of 84 cents a share came in 2 cents shy of targets, while revenue of $6.36 billion missed estimates by $100 million. CEO Bernando Hees said it was a slow start to the year, but that the company remains "on track with our key initiatives."
Kellogg (K - Get Report) reported a drop in first-quarter revenue on weaker sales in North America. Sales declined 4.4% to $3.25 billion, falling short of a target of $3.28 billion. Sales dropped in morning foods and snack segments in the U.S. For the full year, Kellogg anticipates earnings of $3.91 to $3.97 a share, in-line with estimates of $3.93.
General Mills (GIS - Get Report) spiked more than 3% on unsubstantiated talk of a takeover. Twitter lit up with takeover speculation on Thursday morning following the company's announcement on Wednesday that long-time CEO Ken Powell would leave the food giant.
U.S. stocks pared losses heading into the close Wednesday after the Federal Reserve showed it still had faith in the integrity of the U.S. economic recovery. In a statement following the Fed's May meeting, members of the Federal Open Market Committee noted that economic had slowed, though fundamentals remained solid. The committee viewed slowing growth in the first quarter as transitory.
"What is really saving the market is the suppressed volatility," said James "Rev Shark" Deporre of yesterday's moves on our premium site Real Money. "There just isn't much movement to stir up stronger emotions. There is no reason to be greedy or fearful when the S&P 500 barely has a pulse."
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