Wall Street News: Taxpayers Take $11.2 Billion Hit, and Sprint’s Big Buy

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Wall Street news today, May 1, 2014: The markets closed on Wednesday in the black after the Federal Reserve committed to cutting another $10 billion from its bond-purchasing program.

This morning, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will speak to kick off a heavy economic calendar.

Here's what you need to know to make your Thursday profitable.

Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, May 1, 2014

  • Takeover Tensions: Can you hear this deal? Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is in discussion with several banks to secure financing to purchase rival T-Mobile Corp. (NYSE: TMUS). The deal would merge the country's third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers. This is not the first time that a rival has attempted to purchase the company. In 2011, the U.S. Justice Department blocked AT&T from purchasing T-Mobile.
  • A Deal on Paper: According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T (NYSE: T) has proposed a possible takeover of satellite cable provider DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV). The deal would be worth nearly $40 billion and would rival Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA).
  • wall street news

  • Bailouts Continue: The International Monetary Fund's board agreed to provide a $17 billion two-year aid program to Ukraine. The bailout will help stabilize the nation's economy at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he will pull financing from the nation. The support will also enable Ukraine to secure an additional $15 billion from donors. Despite the nation's richness in natural resources (particularly in agriculture), the country has continually struggled since it gained independence in 1991.
  • Where's the Lousy T-Shirt: For years, the Obama Administration has touted the bailout of the U.S. automotive industry. But today, the bill has come due. The U.S. Treasury announced that its bailout of General Motors (NYSE: GM) lost $11.2 billion in taxpayer money when it exited its position.
  • China Woes Continues: China's April manufacturing PMI barely beat March's terrible number. The Index hit 50.4 in April, just a tick above the previous month's reading. Many economists are concerned about China's ability to hit its target 7.5% growth rate for the year after a tame first quarter.

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…

Full U.S. Economic Calendar May 1, 2014 (NYSE: all times EDT)

  • Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
  • Gallup US Payroll to Population at 8:30 a.m.
  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Speaks at 8:30 a.m.
  • PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
  • Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

Key Companies Reporting Earnings May 1, 2014

  • Consensus earnings per share for Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is $1.88.
  • Consensus earnings per share for ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is $1.57.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Manulife Financial Corp. (NYSE: MFC) is $0.33.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB) is $1.04.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) is $1.05.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) is $0.97.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is $1.00.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) $0.72.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) is $0.74.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA) is $1.22.

NOW: The "Holy Grail" of energy investing is going to make you – and your grandchildren – rich…

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