What's moving markets today: April 11, 2019

4:22 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Markets barely budge. Except health care stocks — they stumbled

Wall Street finished virtually unchanged on Thursday.

The Dow fell 15 points, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.11 points. The Nasdaq dipped 0.2%.

Health care stocks, however, stumbled. UnitedHealth (UNH) fell 4%, making it the biggest loser on the Dow and the S&P 500. Anthem (ANTH), Centene (CNC) and HCA Healthcare (HCA) also dropped 

Weight Watchers (WW), now known as WW, tumbled 10% after JPMorgan published a bearish research report warning of a drop in subscribers.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) slumped 9% following its first annual loss in the retailer’s nearly 27 years as a public company.

2:00 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

This cooler's stock is having a hot year

Yeti (YETI), which makes coolers and insulated mugs, is having a big day. The stock is up 4% today after a bullish analyst report, our Paul R. La Monica points out:

Shares are up more than 100% for the year:

1:41 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Google loses its VP and diversity chief

Google's vice president and diversity chief Danielle Brown announced Thursday she's departing the company less than two years after she was hired.

Brown will join online payments startup called Gusto. Previously, she worked at Intel for nearly 8 years.

Her departure, announced in a tweet and LinkedIn post, comes one week after Google release its latest diversity report. It revealed an improved retention of female, Black and Latinx employees. It also showed its proportion of women leadership hires decreased -- an area it said it will prioritize in 2019.

Brown's tenure coincided with a tumultuous time for the company's workforce, including a recent staged walkout over how Google handled severance packages for executives accused of sexual harassment.

12:38 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Walmart exec shades Amazon's Jeff Bezos on Twitter

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos released his annual letter to shareholders and had some choice words for his competitors -- without actually naming them.

Bezos wrote that rivals should match his company's $15 per hour minimum wage.

Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It's a kind of competition that will benefit everyone," he said.

Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, took notice of Bezos' demand and responded on Twitter:

Walmart's (WMT) entry level pay at its stores is $11 per hour, but has recently changed its bonus program so workers can earn extra cash.

12:30 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Markets turn red, led lower by health care and energy

US stocks reversed course and headed south in early afternoon trading.

Markets were led lower by weakness in health care stocks. Cigna (CI), Centene (CNC) and UnitedHealth (UNH) all fell by 2%.

US oil prices dropped 1.6% to around $63.50 a barrel, cooling off from a recent hot streak. Oil came under pressure after OPEC sources told Reuters that the cartel could raise output if shrinking Venezuela and Iranian supply keeps prices rallying.

Weight Watchers (WTW), now known as WW, tumbled 12% after JPMorgan slashed its price target to $12 due to concerns about shrinking subscribers.

12:10 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Bed Bath and Beyond drops after posting first annual loss

Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) shares are down 9% Thursday after the retailer reported its earnings after the bell yesterday.

The company posted a loss $132.7 million for the fiscal year. This is Bed, Bath and Beyond’s first annual loss in the nearly 27 years it has been public.

Bed Bath and Beyond is also under pressure from activist investors. The company is reviewing its corporate governance structure and nominating a new lead director to its board.

12:31 p.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Caesars reportedly inches closer to a sale

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn's wish of getting Caesars Entertainment (CZR) to put itself up for sale is reportedly coming closer to reality.

The New York Post reports that the resort company "plans to announce within days" that it's for sale. A potential suitor includes Tilman Fertitta, the billionaire owner of the Houston Rockets, a restaurateur and owner of Golden Nugget Casino.

Icahn has slowly been increasing his stake in Caesars and has revamped its board. He's previously said he thinks a sale is the "best path forward."

Caesars shares are up nearly 3% in early trading. The stock is up 37% for the year.

10:05 a.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Stocks inch higher ahead of earnings season kicking off

US stocks opened marginally higher on Thursday, as investors were gearing up for the first quarter earnings season to get under way.

  • The Dow Jones rose 30 points.
  • The S&P 500 was up 2 points.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 5 points.

In individual stocks, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), which reported results after Wednesday’s market close, was down nearly 11% in early trading.

Elsewhere, ride-sharing app Lyft (LYFT) will remain in focus, as investors are awaiting the S-1 filing of its competitor Uber.

Earlier, US jobless claims dropped below 200,000 for the first time in more than 49 years, stressing the robustness of the US labor market in the face of global economic growth worries.

10:05 a.m. ET, April 11, 2019

Weight Watchers plunges on bearish analyst call

Oprah Winfrey's magic touch is no longer helping Weight Watchers. Shares of the company, now known as WW (WTW), plummeted 10% in early trading Thursday after J.P. Morgan analyst Christina Brathwaite cut her price target from $14 a share to $12. That's more than 35% below the stock's current price.

Brathwaite noted in a report that daily active users -- as tracked by analytics company SimliarWeb -- for the Weight Watchers web site plunged in the first quarter. As such, Brathwaite now thinks WW subscribers fell 18% to about 2.5 million this year, a drop "which would put significant pressure" on the company's sales.

WW recently launched a new "It Works" ad campaign that features Oprah, who owns 8% of the company. Brathwaite said this could help recruit new members. But she is still worried about falling profits and what that may mean for the company's sizable debt load.

We believe that the significantly negative start to the year will be extremely difficult for WTW to overcome, despite marketing investments," Brathwaite wrote. 

The stock has lost more than half its value so far in 2019.