Stock market news today, March 3, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.30% to finish at 16.321.71 on Friday. The Nasdaq fell by 0.25% to close at 4,308.12, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.28% to end at 1.859.45.
Winter Storm Titan will continue into the late afternoon today on the East Coast of the United States. Despite today's bout of nasty weather, the markets will remain open in New York.
Here are the five biggest stories moving markets today:
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, March 3, 2014
- And the Oscar Goes To: Entertainment powerhouse Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) is soaking in the spotlight after the film "Gravity" took home seven Academy Awards last night. Collectively, the studio distributor's films took home 10 golden statues. But the biggest prize of all, the Oscar for Best Picture, went to Twenty First Century Fox's (Nasdaq: FOXA) powerful film "12 Years a Slave."
- Blame It on the Weather: On Monday, U.S. auto sales figures will be announced, drawing concerns about the impact of the harsh winter that has pummeled the United States. American automakers General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) are hoping for positive news from analysts. According to Edmunds.com, auto sales were up 0.8% in February.
- A CEO's Climate Charge: Tim Cook, the successor of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), raised eyebrows over the weekend when he told anyone questioning the company's emphasis on climate change to "get out of the stock." The National Centre for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a conservative think tank and investor, had asked Cook and the company to refrain from placing more money in unprofitable green energy projects. Cook responded angrily that the company had made these investments for "a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive."
- War Threats Heat Up: Capital flight pummeled the Russian markets this morning. Global investors are punishing Russia for its bloodless siege of part of Ukraine. The Russian central bank raised interest rates by 1.5% to try to stave off the exodus. The Market Vector Russia ETF Trust (NYSE: RSX) is already off more than 8% in pre-market trading. Tensions between Russia and the West have now reached their highest level since the end of the Cold War.
- Infrastructure Spending to Increase: President Barack Obama will introduce his budget request on Tuesday, setting the tone for Washington spending in an election year. Over the weekend, the President pushed Congress to increase high-tech manufacturing jobs and invest significantly in the country's transportation system. The President is pushing Congress to pass a bipartisan bill to address the nation's out-of-control debt.
Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility ahead. So we've outlined how to find profits in a volatile market – like triple-digit gains in just days – if you start with this strategy…
U.S. Economic Calendar March 3, 2014
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 8:58 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- Global Manufacturing PMI at 11 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings March 3, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Magna International Inc. (NYSE: MGA) is $1.53.
- Consensus earnings per share for Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS) is $0.41.
- Consensus earnings per share for EV Energy Partners L.P. (Nasdaq: EVEP) is $0.20.
- Consensus earnings per share for Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: NUS) is $1.99.
- Consensus earnings per share for Magellan Health Services Inc. (Nasdaq: MGLN) is $0.83.
- Consensus earnings per share for Seaspan Corporation (NYSE: SSW) is $0.24.
Others Reporting Earnings
- Rockwood Holdings Inc. (ROC), Pengrowth Energy Corp. (PGH), Akorn Inc. (AKRX), Celldex Therapeutics Inc. (CLDX), Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc. (RBA), Stillwater Mining Co. (SWC), Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP), Molycorp Inc. (MCP), ZipRealty Inc. (ZIPR), Tech Data Corp. (TECD), SolarCity Corp. (SCTY)
Governments are looking for ways to "help you manage your money." They're really plans to raid your savings: here's what to do about it…