Dow Jones today, June 23, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both hit record highs on Friday, finishing the week on a positive note. The U.S. crude oil benchmark closed at its highest level in nine months as geopolitical tension continues to shake Iraq. Brent futures ended a seven-day streak, finishing below $115 a barrel.
This morning, crude oil prices were again on the rise as battles between Sunni militants and Iraqi government troops continued, and the fight is fast approaching the nation's capital of Baghdad.
Here's the news that will be moving the Dow Jones today:
- Settle Up: On Sunday, BNP Paribas SA (OTCMKTS ADR: BNPQY) and U.S. regulators reached a framework agreement that the company will pay between $8 billion and $9 billion for violating U.S. sanctions in Sudan and Iran. The company allegedly hid $30 billion in financial transactions that violated U.S. fiat on these nations. BNP Paribas' settlement includes a guilty plea of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. French President Francois Hollande says that he believes that the penalty is unfair and has objected to U.S. prosecutors' discretion on the matter.
- A Caffeine Surge: Coffee shop giant Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) announced plans to raise prices on packaged coffee and other products. With raw coffee prices on the rise thanks to increased drought and increased demand, the company is moving to protect margins ahead of its next earnings report. Shares of Starbucks were up marginally in pre-market trading.
- Today's Economic Calendar: Today's quiet schedule includes the Chicago Fed Activity Index and the PMI Manufacturing index.
- Digital Boom: The Wall Street Journal announced that Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) plans to purchase MICROS Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCS) for roughly $5 billion. Shares of MICROS were up about 2.5% in pre-market trading.
- Charges Mount: Reuters reports that internal investigators at American Apparel Inc. (NYSE: AAP) determined that Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney violated numerous company policies, which has led to his termination. Charney allegedly misused company funds and ignored charges of sexual harassment from a former employee, according to the report.
- Merger Mania Continues: A deal announced this morning will create the eighth largest natural gas utility in the nation. Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC) announced plans to purchase Integrys Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: TEG) for roughly $9.1 billion in cash, stock, and assumed debt. Shares of Integrys were up more than 16% in pre-market trading.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Micron Technology Inc. (NYSE: MU), Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC), Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR), Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY), and Accretive Health Inc. (OTC: ACHI).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar June 23, 2014
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
Now: After 117 years, this old institution is finally dying. And that means a new bull market is coming...