Stocks Surrender Early Gains; Is Monsanto Up For Sale? – Investor’s Business Daily

This post was originally published on this site

The stock market gave up morning gains Thursday and was trading lower in the early afternoon as early winners such as Weibo (WB) and WebMD (WBMD) faded.

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.