Major benchmarks seesawed between gains and losses Wednesday as investors balanced strong earnings reports against concerns about the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.85%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.64%) finished with small declines. 

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.22%) (59.34)
S&P 500 (0.22%) (6.43)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

As for individual stocks, Snap (SNAP -0.43%) reported a strong quarter, and Occidental Petroleum (OXY 0.19%) launched an effort to outbid Chevron (CVX -0.17%) for Anadarko Petroleum (APC).

Graphs superimposed on columns of numbers.

Image source: Getty Images.

Snap grows revenue and users

Snap's first quarter beat Wall Street's expectations on both the top and bottom lines. The stock initially jumped in after-hours trading yesterday, but investor enthusiasm faded, and shares closed down 6.1%. Revenue for the Snapchat operator increased 39% to $320 million and net losses came in $0.10 per share, compared to a loss of $0.17 per share in the period a year earlier. Analysts were expecting the company to lose $0.12 per share on revenue of $306 million.

Engagement is improving, with Snap adding 4 million daily active users in the quarter for a total of 190 million after that metric was flat last quarter. Average revenue per user increased 39% to $1.68 and gross margin was 39%, an improvement of 2.1 percentage points year over year. Operating expenses decreased 4% from the period a year ago and operating cash flow improved by $166 million to an outflow of $66 million.

So why did the stock fall today? Guidance for Q2 was not spectacular, with a revenue estimate that met expectations and a statement hinting that Q2 user growth may be slower than in Q1. But given that Snap shares opened above yesterday's close, it's likely there was nothing in the conference call that raised specific concerns. It's possible some investors may have concluded that now is the time to take some profit after a 118% return since the start of the year.

Occidental tops Chevron's offer for Anadarko

Occidental Petroleum launched a hostile bid to acquire Anadarko Petroleum in a cash-and-stock deal worth $75 per share, outbidding Chevron's earlier offer, which is worth $62.01 per share at current prices and already approved by the Anadarko board. Anadarko stock rose 11.6% to $71.40 on the news, while Occidental fell 0.6% and Chevron dropped 3.1%.

Occidental is upping the proportion of cash in its offer compared to Chevron's, bidding $38 in cash and 0.6094 shares of its stock for every share of Anadarko. Chevron's offer is for $16.25 in cash and 0.3869 Chevron shares.

Anadarko released a statement acknowledging the offer and said its board will review it. A combination with either suitor would result in a dominant producer in the Permian Basin, but today's share-price movements suggest that investors assume that Chevron will win out after submitting a higher bid.