Stock market today, March 7, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.38% to close at 16,421.89 on Thursday. The Nasdaq fell 0.13% to hit 4,352.13, while the S&P 500 gained a meager 0.17% to finish at 1,877.03.
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will announce the highly anticipated official jobs report. Stay tuned for updates on Moneymorning.com.
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, March 7, 2014
- The Retail Blues Continue: Thanks to increased competitive pressures from rivals like Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), retailer Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced it will shutter 225 stores in a $500 million restructuring effort to cut operating costs. SPLS is reeling from consumer habits that are deterring in-store shopping. North American sales for the company's store and online division fell 12% year-over-year, while international sales fell 13.7%. The stock plummeted by more than 15% yesterday.
- Secession in Crimea: The international chess match over Crimea hit new heights yesterday between Russia and the West. According to reports out of Moscow, the Russia-backed government in Crimea voted to defect from Ukraine and join Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama called the move a violation of international law, and has introduced economic sanctions and travel restrictions on anyone intent on enabling the takeover of the Crimean region. Russia's parliament announced its full support of the region's bid to join the world's largest nation.
- Grocery Store Shopping: Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management announced the acquisition of Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SFY), the second largest grocery store chain in the U.S. Ceberus purchased the company for $9.4 billion and plans to merge Safeway with Albertson's LLC, creating a network of more than 2,400 stores and 250,000 employees. Shares of Safeway fell by nearly 3% in premarket trading.
- Bitcoin Buzz: On Thursday, Newsweek released an article on Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, the man deemed to be the inventor of online currency Bitcoin. The revelation sent shockwaves among investors of the crypto-currency and social media, particularly when he denied any involvement. The bizarre article involves car chases, secrets among his family, and downright shock by friends and neighbors that he is in fact the man behind Bitcoin.
- Yesterday's Big Winner: Yesterday's biggest winner was Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: AGIO), which soared more than 26% on a strong earnings report. The pharma firm reported fourth-quarter revenues of $6.7 million to reach $25.5 million last year. These results shattered analyst expectations. Agios has revealed new plans to provide new details on its phase 1 study of AG-221, an IDH2 mutant-inhibitor cancer drug. The firm will present this new data in April at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting. The announcement is sooner than expected and is likely to highlight positive results for the company.
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U.S. Economic Calendar March 7, 2014
- U.S. February Employment Report at 8:30 a.m.
- International Trade Report at 8:30 a.m.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley Speaks at 12:00 p.m.
- Consumer Credit Report at 3:00 p.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings March 7, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL) is $0.75.
- Consensus earnings per share for Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (NYSE: PWE) is $-0.11.
- Consensus earnings per share for Piedmont Natural Gas Co., Inc. (NYSE: PNY) is $1.18.
- Consensus earnings per share for Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is $1.38.
- Consensus earnings per share for Superior Industries International, Inc. (NYSE: SUP) is $0.22.
- Consensus earnings per share for Furmanite Corp. (NYSE: FRM) is $0.16.
Others Reporting Earnings
- Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PPHM), Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corp. (WMC), BPZ Resources, Inc. (BPZ), Hydrogenics Corp. (HYGS), Timmons Gold Corp. (TGD), Jones Soda Co. (JSDA)