The S&P 500 was down 0.24%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.12%. The Nasdaq slid 0.25%, setting the index up to snap a four-day, record-breaking streak.
Snap, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, tanked 20% after reporting a massive quarterly loss. The owner of disappearing message app Snapchat reported a loss of $2.31 a share, far wider than an expected loss of 19 cents. Daily active users rose 5% to 8 million over the three months to March.
Daily active users, a closely watched number in the report, grew 5% quarter over quarter to 166 million, compared to analysts' projected 168 million. Despite being lower than expected, Snap's user growth improved compared with the fourth quarter, when its DAUs grew 4% quarter over quarter. Still, Snap's user numbers pale in comparison to Facebook, arguably Snap's biggest rival, which just said it reached nearly 2 billion monthly users.
Snap could be one of the most hated companies on Wall Street following its earnings result, argued Brian Sozzi over on TheStreet's premium site Real Money. Get his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both narrowly set new record closes on Wednesday. The Nasdaq has seen record closes for four sessions in a row as volatility held at its lowest level in more than two decades. The tech-heavy index has closed at records 31 times so far this year. The Volatility Index, often referred to as the fear index, traded at its lowest level in 24 years earlier in the week.
"The most powerful force in this market right now is inertia," said James "Rev Shark" Deporre in his column for our premium site Real Money. "Inertia is the tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged and that is what's happening despite the best efforts of pundits to find something that will move this market."
Oil "has found strong support on the back of the latest U.S. oil inventories report," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com. "This has reduced concerns about excessive supply after the persistent rises in US oil production. Oil has also found support on the back of persistent jawboning from oil ministers of some OPEC countries about extending the production cuts."
West Texas Intermediate crude closed 1.1% higher at $47.83 a barrel on Thursday.
Producer prices in the U.S. increased 0.5% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than double the gain analysts had anticipated. U.S. producer prices over the past 12 months increased 2.5% in April, its biggest increase since February 2012.
Straight Path Communications (STRP) confirmed that it had agreed to be acquired by Verizon (VZ) in a deal worth $3.1 billion. Verizon's deal to buy Straight Path for $184 a share puts the company at a steep discount to its Wednesday close of roughly $223 a share. Straight Path will terminate a previous deal to be acquired by AT&T (T) for $1.6 billion. Straight Path had agreed to that deal in April.
Merck (MRK) increased 1% after receiving approval for Keytruda in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for first-line lung cancer. JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott said the development was a "clear positive as it positions the company in a leadership position."
Delta Air Lines (DAL) raised its dividend by 50% and approved a new share buyback program. The airline increased its dividend to an annual rate of $1.22 a share, up from 81 cents. The new dividend will begin in September. A fresh $5 billion share repurchase program will go into effect once its previous $5 billion program has been exhausted.
Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday after Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey wrapped the White House in another controversy, worrying investors holding out for progress on Trump's business-friendly agenda. The White House pointed to Comey's handling of the investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private email server as reason for the firing. However, Trump frequently praised Comey's decision to go public with details of the investigation on the campaign trail.
Trump always planned to fire Comey regardless of a Department of Justice recommendation, he told NBC's Lester Holt in his first interview since the termination. Trump also said the Comey had personally let him know he was not under investigation.
Cutting off global lines and employing protectionist trade policies will only hurt the global economy, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley warned on Thursday morning. Speaking at the Bombay Stock Exchange in India Thursday, Dudley said that countries need to "compete better, not compete less" and that "trade barriers are a very expensive way to preserve jobs in less competitive or declining industries." Trump has pledged to renegotiate a number of previous trade deals with some of the U.S.'s largest trading partners and allies.
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