Stocks edged away on Tuesday from Monday's record highs, but the bidding for one big food company continued to heat up. The The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 21 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) slipped less than a point, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 3 points.
The rally in the Dow Transports was also derailed. Norfolk Southern (NSC) and CSX (CSX) both lost about 1½ percent and GATX (GMT) dropped 3½ percent.
But utilities, which have been among the best performers this year, continue to heat up. FirstEnergy (FE) rose 3 percent.
And auto sales in May soared to their highest level since February 2007. General Motors (GM) gained 1 percent, Toyota (TM) rose nearly 1 percent and Ford (F) added about 0.5 percent.
%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-947%Hillshire Foods (HSH) is the subject of an intense bidding war. It jumped another 9½ percent as Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) sweetened its bid, and investors expect the bidding to go still higher. Pilgrim offered $55 a share, $5 a share more than Tyson Foods (TSN) has bid. Hillshire closed above the latest offer price, indicating that investor believe battle may not be over yet. Hillshire shares have soared 66 percent over the past month.
On the earnings front, doughnut-maker Krispy Kreme (KKD) got creamed. It fell 15 percent after posting disappointing sales and cutting its outlook for the year.
Quiksilver (ZQK), which makes surfer and skateboard apparel, tumbled 41 percent as its loss widened. It's now lost more than half its value over the past year.
But Dollar General (DG) gained 4 percent on a decent sales gain.
And G-III Apparel (GIII) rose 9 percent as it beat expectations and raised its outlook. G-III makes brand name apparel lines such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Levi's.
Elsewhere, Clovis Oncology (CLVS) tumbled for a second straight day. It lost 20 percent today on growing concern that it's fighting a losing battle with AstraZeneca (AZN) over experimental lung cancer treatments. Clovis shares have lost nearly half their value over the past year.
And a pair of gambling giants fell on disappointing revenue from casinos in Macau. Wynn Resorts (WYNN) dropped 4½ percent and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) lost 2½ percent.
What to Watch Wednesday:
The Mortgage Bankers Association releases weekly mortgage applications at 7 a.m. Eastern time.
ADP (ADP) releases its survey of private-sector employment at 8:15 a.m.
At 8:30 a.m., the Commerce Department releases international trade data for April, and the Labor Department releases revised data for first quarter productivity.
The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for May at 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.