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Financial news today, May 8, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that the U.S. economy needed additional support to buffer the "considerable slack" in the labor market. Yellen also stressed risks in the housing market and rising geopolitical tensions.
This morning (Thursday), U.S. futures are flat on positive Chinese trade data and the anticipation of jobless claims.
Here's what you need to know to make your Thursday profitable:
- Housing Struggles on Tap: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stressed concerns about the housing market on Wednesday, an unusual departure from past upbeat tones about the economy. Said Yellen: "The recent flattening out in housing activity could prove more protracted than currently expected rather than resuming its earlier pace of recovery." According to Census Data, building permits – a typical gauge of future housing construction – slipped 2.4% in March, while existing home sales remained flat.
- Today's Economic Calendar: This morning, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify before the U.S. Senate. Two Federal Reserve Presidents will speak today, in addition to Federal Reserve Governor Charles Possner. Jobless claims arrived this morning at 8:30 a.m., and the Federal Reserve will release its balance sheet after the market closes. See below for a full calendar of today's events.
- Tesla Slumps: Shares of Tesla Motors (TSLA) fell by 7.62% in after-hours trading despite beating earnings expectations. The company posted earnings of $0.12 per share (excluding one-time items) on $713 million in sales. During a conference call, the company said it will double down on its plans to build cars in China within the next four years and expand its operations in East Asia. TSLA expects to deliver up to 7,500 Model S units for the quarter, in an effort to surpass 35,000 Model S deliveries in 2014.
- A New Cable Giant: The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman Sachs (GS) is consulting DirecTV (DTV) to evaluate its possible merger with AT&T (T). The deal would provide services to 25 million customers and create a new powerhouse to compete in bundled services against Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
- Alibaba IPO Profits: When Alibaba launches its initial public offering (IPO) in the near future, the biggest winner will be Japan's Masayoshi Son. That's because Son's SoftBank Corp. (SFTBF) invested $20 million on a Chinese web portal 14 years ago. That unknown company evolved into the world's largest internet commerce company, and Softbank's stake in the company has been estimated at nearly $58 billion. And, unlike Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Softbank is not required to sell any of its shares during the IPO.
- A Big Oil Deal: