Stocks held modest losses on Thursday as a selloff in Snap (SNAP)  pulled the rest of the tech sector lower, while Macy's (M) led other retailers to the downside.

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.

Snap attributed the loss in the first quarter to $2 billion worth of compensation-related expenses tied to its initial public offering in March. Of those expenses, CEO Evan Spiegel received a $750 million bonus for taking the company public.

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.

Nasdaq components Amazon (AMZN) , Microsoft (MSFT) , Alphabet (GOOGL)  and Qualcomm (QCOM) were all lower on Thursday. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) declined by 0.3%.

Alphabet is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells GOOGL? Learn more now. 

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."

A disappointing quarter from Macy's ( M) spooked the rest of the retail sector. Macy's tumbled 15% after missing profit and sales estimates over its recent quarter. Adjusted earnings of 24 cents a share came in 12 cents below estimates, while sales of $5.3 billion fell short by $200 million. Same-store sales at owned locations fell by 5.2%. Overall revenue declined by 7.5%. The retailer forecast a 3.2% to 4.3% decline in full-year sales.
Kohl's  ( KSS) also reported a sharper-than-expected decline in same-store sales over its first quarter. Same-store sales dropped 2.7%, a steeper drop than an anticipated 1.2% fall. Net income rose to 39 cents a share in the first quarter from 9 cents a year earlier and beat estimates by a dime. Revenue of $3.84 billion came in lower than a target of $3.91 billion.
Other retail stocks moved sharply lower in sympathy. J.C. Penney ( JCP) , Sears ( SHLD) , Nordstrom ( JWN)  and Dillard's ( DDS) tumbled. 
"The latest trend in retailing is not a surprise to investors this year," Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO, wrote in a note. "S&P retailers are flat this year while the overall index is nearly 8% higher. Mall operators have been particularly hard hit, down nearly 10% this year."
Crude oil prices rose on Thursday, adding to its best gains of the year achieved a day earlier. A weekly reading on U.S. stockpiles out on Wednesday showed the largest decline of the year. U.S. inventories declined by 5.2 million barrels in the past week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts anticipated a decline of 1.8 million barrels. Gasoline and distillates stockpiles also dropped.

Oil "has found strong support on the back of the latest U.S. oil inventories report," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at "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. 

Jobless claims showed an unexpected decline in the past week, another sign of a healthy labor market. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits declined by 2,000 to 236,000, better than an expected increase to 244,000. The less volatile four-week claims average came in at 243,500.

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. 

21st Century Fox ( FOXA) beat analysts' estimates on the bottom-line but missed on the top. The media company earned an adjusted 54 cents a share over its recent quarter, 6 cents higher than consensus. Revenue increased to $7.56 billion from $7.23 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts anticipated sales of $7.63 billion. 

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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