U.S. indices were down across the board Wednesday afternoon, continuing the decline started by the futures indices in the morning. The S&P 500 was down 0.4%, while the Nasdaq dropped 0.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%.
Crude prices, on the other hand, continued their gains from the morning, with industry standard Brent crude futures contracts climbing $1.64 to $47.16 a barrel and West Texas crude futures gaining $1.35 to $46.01 a barrel.
Crude's performance helped lift oil stocks midday: BP (BP) rose 0.6% on heavy volume, ConocoPhillips (COP) rose more than 3% and the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI) was up more than 9%.
Disney (DIS) helped lead the way down Wednesday following its latest earnings miss. The media company reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that failed to meet expectations.
Office Depot (ODP) was dragging on the market, as well. ODP shares were down 38% on more than 10x normal volume Wednesday after a federal judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission and issued an injunction blocking its merger with Staples (SPLS). Staples had previously announced that losing the trial would scuttle the deal.
Staples shares were also experiencing a sharp downturn Wednesday, falling nearly 17% on about 7x daily volume, midday. Staples is on the hook for a $250 million breakup fee, which it must pay to Office Depot since the deal did not go through.
Macy's (M) was taking a hit Wednesday following the company's latest earnings release. The retailer cut its full-year profit expectations to between $3.15 and $3.40 per share from its previous forecast of between $3.80 and $3.90 per share. The move came after the company reported mixed first-quarter results, beating bottom-line expectations but missing on revenue. Macy's shares were down nearly 14% on more than 6x normal volume.
Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) were up over 12% following the video game maker's earnings release. The company reported an adjusted profit of $0.50 per share, which was 19% better than Wall Street anticipated. Revenue for the period also rose 3% on the previous year, thanks in large part to the performance of the company's "Star Wars" video game, which has sold 14 million units this year.