The Nasdaq fell 0.8%; the S&P 500 0.3% and the Dow Jones industrial average 0.1% in the stock market today. Volume was tracking slightly higher on the NYSE and lower on the Nasdaq.
Early on, oil prices traded just above $47 a barrel, a six-month high, but also turned tail. West Texas intermediate futures for June delivery were down 46 cents or 1% to $45.77.
Monsanto (MON) gapped up and was trading 9% higher on various reports that Germany’s BASF is working with investment banks on a possible bid for Monsanto, the U.S. seeds and herbicide giant.
Before the open, the Labor Department reported 294,000 first-time claims for unemployment in the first week of May, the highest in a year and 20,000 more than the prior week.
Chinese social media platform Weibo surged nearly 7% intraday after reporting EPS of 7 cents vs. estimates of 4 cents late Wednesday, but has since retreated to a fractional gain. Revenue was $119.3 million compared with estimates of $113.6 million. The stock broke out of a cup-with-handle base with a 19.20 buy point, and rocketed as much as 29% in three weeks. Weibo posted a profit last year after a few years of losses. Analysts expect 59% EPS growth this year and 67% growth next year.
WebMD hit a new high, rising almost 3% intraday. But WebMD is trading down fractionally in the afternoon. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded the stock from neutral to buy.