Stock market today, May 23, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased on Thursday on positive news in the housing market. Data from the National Association of Realtors indicated a 1.3% increase in home sales in April. This is the first increase of the year.
Here's what to watch for in the stock market today:
- The Mega Energy Deal: In what appears to be a jab at Ukraine's natural gas debts, Alexander Medvedev, Chief Executive of Gazprom Export, announced today that China has agreed to prepay $25 billion in its mega gas supply deal with Russia. This week, Russia and China signed a 30-year gas supply contract, which will ultimately be worth more than $400 billion. Ukraine, meanwhile, could see its supply cut off from Russia over a $2 billion debt.
- A Billion Here, A Billion There: Ride-sharing startup Uber is currently talking with investors at BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), General Atlantic, and Technology Crossover Ventures about raising additional capital. The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber aims to raise $500 million, offering shares that would value the company at a staggering $12 billion. An initial public offering is expected in the near future, but the company appears to be waiting out the market.
- Banks Behaving Badly: After settling over its role in a massive scheme to manipulate Libor Interest Rates, Barclays Plc (NYSE: BCS) has now been fined 26 million pounds ($43.8 million) over manipulation in gold prices. British regulators are faulting the bank for failing to bolster risk management controls and to properly monitor traders who rigged gold prices.
- Today's Economic Calendar: A thin economic calendar Friday features a report on new home sales. In March, new home sales slumped by 14.5% to a 384,000 annual rate. A positive number would restore confidence in a struggling housing sector, which remains a chief economic concern to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.