West Texas Intermediate crude futures declined 2% to $50.34 a barrel. Contracts for Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 1.6% to $53.08 a barrel.
In minutes from their May 2-3 meeting, "most" members of the Fed's monetary policy committee showed a willingness to hike interest rates again "soon" despite leaving them unchanged at a range of 0.75% to 1% at that gathering. The pace of subsequent rate hikes appears a point of debate, though, with several members backing a faster pace, while a few supported slower increases.
Analysts warned that hospital stocks are likely to suffer if the House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare eventually becomes law, including shares of companies such as Community Health (CYH - Get Report) , HCA Healthcare (HCA - Get Report) and Tenet Healthcare (THC - Get Report) .
The biggest beneficiaries among public companies are likely to be the largest health insurers, including Anthem (ANTM - Get Report) , UnitedHealth (UNH - Get Report) , Cigna (CI - Get Report) and Humana (HUM - Get Report) .
3. -- Facebook (FB - Get Report) has signed deals with Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to make shows for its upcoming video service, which will feature long and short-form content with ad breaks, Reuters reported, citing several sources familiar with the situation.
Facebook is planning two tiers of video entertainment: scripted shows with episodes lasting 20 to 30 minutes, which it will own; and shorter scripted and unscripted shows with episodes lasting about 5 to 10 minutes, which Facebook will not own, the sources told Reuters.
Facebook's move to acquire and license original content is the latest in its push to attract more advertising dollars, putting the company in head-to-head competition with Alphabet's YouTube Red, Snapchat's Discover feature, and traditional television networks, Reuters noted.
5. -- Sears (SHLD posted a quarterly adjusted loss of $230 million, or $2.15 a share, wider than a year-earlier loss of $199 million, or $1.86 a share. Sales at both the Sears and Kmart banners continued to plunge. Same-store sales at Sears crashed 12.4%, marking the 11th straight quarterly decline. At Kmart, sales dived 11.2%, and were down for the 10th straight quarter.
Other companies reporting earnings Thursday include Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Get Report) , Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) , Costco (COST - Get Report) , Ulta Beauty (ULTA - Get Report) , Brocade Communications (BRCD , LionsGate (LGF , Marvell Tech (MRVL - Get Report) , Medtronic (MDT - Get Report) and Splunk (SPLK - Get Report) .
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