Stocks headed lower in early afternoon trading Wednesday, after an intraday glow from positive economic data faded.
The Nasdaq was down 0.9%, while the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 each gave up 0.7%. Volume was tracking lower on the NYSE and Nasdaq vs. the same time Tuesday.
Economic data were mixed. Hiring marked a three-year low, as private employers added 156,000 jobs in April, well below economists’ projections. But the Institute for Supply Management’s services sector index climbed 1.2 points in April to 55.7, above views for 54.7. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Online travel bookers, gold and biotech stocks led the downside in today’s stock market action. Utilities, Internet content and real estate investment trusts advanced.
Priceline (PCLN) gapped down to sink 10% in speedy trade as it fell below its 200-day moving average. The stock is now 10% below a 1361.73 handle buy point it had been flirting with. Before the open, the online travel site delivered Q1 results that beat forecasts but offered disappointing Q2 earnings guidance.
Under Armour (UA) stumbled 7%, triggering the 8% sell rule as shares fell below a 45.53 buy point. Brean Capital downgraded the stock to hold from buy. The athletic apparel and shoe maker on Tuesday said its chief merchandising officer and chief digital officer will leave in July.
On the IBD 50, Paycom Software (PAYC) and biotech Medivation (MDVN) rose 4% and 3%, respectively, in heavy volume. Pfizer (PFE) has approached Medivation about a possible takeover, according to reports late Tuesday.
All eyes will be on Tesla Motors (TSLA) after the close of trade, when it’s due to report its Q1 results. Analysts expect the electric car maker to post a loss of 58 cents a share vs. a 36-cent loss in Q1 2015. Revenue is forecast to rise 45% to $1.59 billion. Shares were down 2% in faster-than-usual trade, testing support at the 200-day line.