GPRO, AA, and GM Headline Today's Stock Market News

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Stock market news today, June 26, 2014: U.S. markets today (Thursday) opened after finishing in the green across the board in the last trading session - despite GDP figures that revealed the worst non-recession performance in four decades.

Here are the top stock market news stories today:

  • Merger Mania: Shares of metals producer Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) rose 5.5% in premarket hours on news that the company would purchase Firth Rixson, a manufacturer of jet engine parts. The purchase is expected to increase the company's aerospace division by 20% and provide another shot of confidence to its diverse value-add lines. Initial reports suggest the deal will be valued at least $2.85 billion and will require a combination of cash and stock.
  • Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features jobless claims, the EIA natural gas report, and the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index.
  • Another Day, Another Recall: The bad news keeps coming. Yesterday, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced a recall of 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedans due to concerns about a possible defect in air bags manufactured by its supplier Takata. Despite the news, the company's CEO announced no plans for future employee terminations over the recalls.
  • Good News for Housing: The nation's second largest homebuilder, Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), reported strong quarterly profits thanks to higher home prices in the United States. Shares are up marginally in premarket hours. Lennar announced that a tightened housing supply fueled the company's average selling price by 14% during last quarter.
  • Another Activist into the Pool: Reuters reports that hedge fund manager John Paulson has taken a stake of more than six million shares in Botox manufacturer Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN). Paulson is the latest high-profile hedge fund manager (the primary being Bill Ackman) to call for a merger between the company and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl. Inc. (NYSE: VRX).

Keep reading for the latest oil and gas news, earnings reports on deck today, and more...

  • Closing the Gap: The price difference between West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude, the global benchmark, narrowed yesterday on news that the U.S. government will allow some exports for the first time in decades. Many traders foresee an increased reduction in the nation's export ban, which has existed since the 1970s.
  • Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS), Winnebago Industries Inc. (NYSE: WGO), Worthington Industries Inc. (NYSE: WOR), McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MKC), Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), and ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG).

Full U.S. Economic Calendar June 26, 2014 (NYSE: all times EDT)

  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 7-Yr Note Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

Futures prices for both crude and gasoline were down yesterday. Unfortunately, that barely tells the real story. Gasoline prices are head to $4 per gallon - and here's why...