U.S. markets fell to the flatline by midday Wednesday. One company moving markets was Monsanto (MON) which missed quarterly estimates and announced plans to cut as many as 2,600 jobs over the next two years as lower commodity prices hurt sales. Stocks lost gains by the middle of the session. Benchmark indexes had surged more than 1% as crude oil closed in on the psychologically-important $50-a-barrel level. However, the rally in crude oil was cut short after weekly inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels, nearly double an expected gain. Oil had spiked more than 2% earlier, gaining for its fourth straight session in its longest winning streak in six months.
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