Despite a rally in oil prices , benchmarks finished in the red on Wednesday following slump in shares of Disney. Decline in Disney and other retailers' shares dragged retail stocks down, which in turn had a negative impact on the broader consumer discretionary sector. The Dow and S&P 500 registered their worst one-day declines since Feb 11 and Apr 7, respectively.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 1.2%, or 217.23 points, to close at 17,711.12. The S&P 500 fell 1% to close at 2,064.46. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,760.69, also losing 1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 7.8% to settle at 14.69. A total of around 7 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 7.2 billion shares. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 62% stocks that declined, 35% advanced.
Shares of The Walt Disney Company ( DIS ) declined 4%, posting the worst one day fall since Jan 15, after the company missed earnings estimates for the first time in nearly five years. Disney's fiscal second-quarter earnings of $1.36 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.40. Revenues of $12,969 million also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,255 million. However, earnings and revenues during the quarter increased 11% and 4% year over year, respectively.
Further, Staples, Inc's ( SPLS ) shares plunged 18.3% after the planned merger between the company and Office Depot, Inc. ( ODP ) was called off. This occurred after a U.S. federal judge agreed with the Federal Trade Commission's lawyers and stated that a merger of the two big companies could result in an increase in prices of office supplies. Staples was the biggest decliner among the S&P 500 companies.
Shares of Macy's, Inc. ( M ) slumped 15.2% after reporting fiscal first quarter net sales of $5,771 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,955 million. However, quarterly earnings of 40 cents a share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents.
Also, Michael Kors Holdings Limited's ( KORS ) shares fell 11.8% after shares of Fossil Group, Inc. ( FOSL ) plunged 29.1% after reporting fiscal first quarter earnings of $0.12 per share, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.14. Revenues of $659.8 million also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $668 million.
Declines in Disney, Staples, Macy's and Michael Kors weighed on the retail sector and eventually on the broader consumer discretionary sector. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) fell 4.4%, witnessing its biggest decline in a day since Aug 18, 2011. Key components from the retail sector including The Michaels Companies, Inc. ( MIK ), The Children's Place, Inc. ( PLCE ), ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. ( ULTA ), Group 1 Automotive Inc. ( GPI ), Cabela's Incorporated ( CAB ) and GameStop Corp. ( GME ) decreased 2.1%, 4.6%, 2.6%, 5.1%, 4.9% and 4.3%, respectively.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) declined 2%, posting its biggest intraday fall since Feb 5 and was the worst performer among the S&P 500 sectors. Its key components including PVH Corp. ( PVH ), Nordstrom Inc. ( JWN ), NIKE, Inc. ( NKE ), Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX ), The Home Depot, Inc. ( HD ), Starbucks Corporation ( SBUX ) and McDonald's Corp. ( MCD ) decreased 7.6%, 7%, 3.7%, 3.1%, 2.3%, 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively.
However, oil prices rose after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported yesterday that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories fell 3.4 million barrels to 540 million for the week ended May 6. This was in sharp contrast to analysts' expectations of 714,000 barrels rise. Moreover, total motor gasoline inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels last week. Fall in crude oil and gasoline inventories had a positive impact on oil prices. Both the WTI and Brent crude increased 3.4% and 4.4% to $46.23 per barrel and $47.60 a barrel, respectively.
Following oil price rebound, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) increased 0.3%. Key components from the sector including Devon Energy Corporation ( DVN ), Halliburton Company ( HAL ), ConocoPhillips ( COP ), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. ( PXD ) and EOG Resources ( EOG ) increased 3.2%, 1.8%, 1.9%, 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively.
Separately, Electronic Arts Inc's ( EA ) shares jumped 13.7% after announcing fiscal fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 38 cents and non-GAAP revenues of $924 million, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30 cents and $886.4 million, respectively. Electronic Arts was the biggest gainer among the S&P 500 companies.