Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 1.04 percent to 17,565.29 while the NASDAQ dipped 0.89 percent to 5,026.17. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.07 percent to 2,050.86.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Thursday, utilities shares surged by 0.40 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT ), Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (ADR) (NYSE: EOC ), and Enersis SA (ADR) (NYSE: ENI ).
In trading on Thursday, energy shares slipped by 2.23 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE: TOO ), down 51 percent, and Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE: TGP ), down 50 percent.
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS ) reported weak results for its fiscal second quarter and lowered its sales forecast for the full year.
The company reported quarterly net income of $529.5 million, or $0.87 per share. Excluding items, General Mills earned $0.82 per share.
Its total sales slipped 6 percent to $4.42 billion. However, analysts were expecting a profit of $0.83 per share on revenue of $4.61 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE: P ) shares shot up 13 percent to $15.20 following Wednesday's CRB ruling.
Shares of MYOS Corp (NASDAQ: MYOS ) got a boost, shooting up 72 percent to $2.94 after the company reported a strategic investment by RENS Technology Inc.
FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX ) shares were also up, gaining 3 percent to $153.91 after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fiscal second quarter.
Equities Trading DOWN
Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK ) shares tumbled 62 percent to $6.72 after the company announced plan to cut quarterly dividend to $0.055 per share, from $0.55 per share.
Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR ) were down 20 percent to $4.75 after the company reported downbeat revenue for its third quarter and lowered its earnings forecast for the year. However, the company's quarterly earnings exceeded analysts' estimates.
Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE: TGP ) was down, falling 50 percent to $9.21 after the company announced plan to lower quarterly cash distributions to $0.14 per common unit, from $0.70 per common unit.
In commodity news, oil traded down 1.89 percent to $34.85, while gold traded down 2.39 percent to $1,051.10.
Silver traded down 3.57 percent Thursday to $13.74, while copper fell 1.28 percent to $2.05.
European shares closed higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 rose 1.24 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index climbed 1.72 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index jumped 1.48 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 2.57 percent, and the French CAC 40 jumped 1.14 percent, while U.K. shares rose 0.68 percent.
US initial claims slipped by 11,000 to 271,000 in the week ending December 12. However, economists were projecting claims to reach 275,000 in the week.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined to negative 5.9 in December, versus economists' expectations for a reading of 1.5.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased 11.7 percent to $124.1 billion in the third quarter, compared to a revised $111.1 billion in the second quarter.
The Consumer Board's Leading Economic Index rose 0.40 percent in November, versus economists' expectations for a 0.10 percent growth.
Natural-gas supplies dropped 34 billion cubic feet for the week ended December 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. Analysts were estimating a drop of 38 billion cubic feet to 42 billion cubic feet.
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