Wall Street News: 5 Things to Know Before the Market Opens

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Wall Street news today, May 5, 2014: U.S. futures were in the red on Monday morning after new data indicated that Chinese manufacturing decreased for the fourth consecutive month in April. On Friday, all three major indices slipped after April's jobs report indicated erosions in the workforce participation rate.

Now, here are five more stories to watch in the stock market today.

Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, May 5, 2014

  • Interest Rates Won't Rise: On Sunday, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher blamed winter weather for the poor performance in first quarter U.S. GDP growth. Fisher, who opposed the Fed's latest round of quantitative easing, said that the job growth witnessed in Friday's report would likely continue. In addition, he expects the Fed to hold off on raising interest rates any time soon. The central bank has kept interest rates near record lows since December 2008 and pumped several trillion dollars into mortgage and Treasury bonds to stimulate the U.S. economy.
  • Patent Battles Continue: Over the weekend, a federal jury ruled that Samsung had infringed on two of Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) software patents, and ordered Samsung to pay its tech rival $119.6 million in damages. Despite the win, it is still short of the $2.2 billion Apple had sought, and well below the original $930 million Apple had won in a previous trial. The jury also ruled that Apple had infringed on a Samsung patent, and ordered compensation of $158,400.
  • Buffett Rides Again: At the annual Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) shareholder meeting over the weekend, Warren Buffett offered no indications he would be departing the company any time soon, and wouldn't say who might succeed him as CEO when he steps down. In addition, Buffett also announced he had no plan to move his company abroad in order to take advantage of any tax havens, and suggested that Congress could soon move on addressing mergers performed for the sole purpose of dodging U.S. tax laws.
  • Gates Needs Pocket Cash: According to CNET.com, Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) former CEO Bill Gates is no longer the company's largest single shareholder. Last month, Gates sold 4.6 million shares, cutting his holdings to a notch above 330 million. That places him just behind the company's other former CEO Steve Ballmer, who currently owns 333 million shares. Shares of Microsoft have increased by 25% since Ballmer officially stepped down and was replaced by Satya Nadella.
  • Pfizer Underperforms: This morning, the United States' largest drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported woeful earnings that barely approached Wall Street expectations. The company blamed declining sales of generic medications for its poor earnings report. The news comes at a terrible time for the company, as it is currently attempting to purchase AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN) in a deal valued north of $100 billion. Astrazeneca believes the offer seriously undervalues its strong cancer drug pipeline, and has not retorted with an expected amount it would consider.

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 5, 2014

  • Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
  • PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10:00 a.m.
  • Global Manufacturing PMI at 11:00 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 a.m.

Key Companies Reporting Earnings May 5, 2014

  • Consensus earnings per share for Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is $0.55.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) is $1.70.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) is $0.38.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is $0.61.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) is $1.13.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Realogy Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: RLGY) is $-0.19.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (NYSE: BIP) is $0.88.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Kosmos Energy Ltd. (NYSE: KOS) is $0.04.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) is $0.13.
  • Consensus earnings per share for National Health Investors Inc. (NYSE: NHI) is $1.01.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Trex Company Inc. (Nasdaq: TREX) is $0.96.

It's time to look at the BRICS, and the global economic balance, with a totally new set of glasses. Because an emerging market game-changer is here…

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