Today's Stock Market News and Earnings Calendar

Today's stock market news, Feb. 5, 2014: Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% to close at 15,445. The Nasdaq ticked upward 0.8% to 4,031, while the S&P 500 increased 0.75% to 1,755.

As another snowstorm hits the East Coast, commodities results are mixed today. WTI crude and Brent Crude are both up this morning, while natural gas prices are down from yesterday's rise. Gold, silver, and copper are showing slight gains this morning.

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

  • Automatic Data Processing (ADP) published its January report on private-sector employment this morning and the news was close to economists' forecasts. According to the report, the economy created 175,000 jobs in January. The consensus forecast among economists called for 189,000 new jobs in January, down from 238,000 in December. This report is an indicator of the official unemployment report to be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
  • CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS) announced this morning it will remove all cigarettes and tobacco products from its stores by October 1, 2014. CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said the healthcare sector is moving in this direction. The company plans to "lead" by removing tobacco from its 7,600 pharmacies nationwide. The news could rattle investors in the short-term, as it will cost the retailer an estimated $1.5 billion in annual revenue, creating a battle between its profit-minded investors and its social-minded leaders. The stock has declined in early premarket trading by 3.2%.
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) officially named Satya Nadella as its new CEO. Nadella, the company's enterprise/cloud chief, becomes the third leader in the company's history, replacing outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. But given Nadella's limited knowledge of Microsoft's consumer-end products, some on Wall Street are calling for the company to spinoff portions of the firm. The company hopes to avoid that strategy by keeping its founder Bill Gates as a primary technology adviser as he steps down from his role as Chairman. The stock is slightly down this morning in pre-trading hours. Get the full look at what Nadella brings to the table in this quick rundown.
  • Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) reached a tentative agreement with the European Commission to end a three-year antitrust investigation into the company's search-result methodologies. The proposed agreement will require Google to display three of its competitors' search results beside their own services. Google will avoid a fine of nearly $5 billion (10% of 2012 revenue), while the EC decides whether to enforce this agreement in the courts over the long term. Investors - get your latest Google stock analysis here.
  • Airline stocks have already lost upward of $300 to $500 million due to poor weather across the country and more than 49,000 shutdown flights in January. With even worse weather approaching this weekend, investors are starting to grow concerned about the companies' first-quarter earnings. Some airline companies are better positioned due to their global networks like American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) or West-coast proximities like Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK). Meanwhile, companies like JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq: JBLU) remain vulnerable due to a heavy East Coast presence.

Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility lies ahead. But there's still a way to find profits in a volatile market - like triple-digit gains in just days -if you start with this strategy...

U.S. Economic Calendar Feb. 5, 2014

  • February MBA Mortgage Index at 7 a.m.
  • January ADP Employment Change at 8:15 a.m.
  • January ISM Services at 10 a.m.
  • Crude Inventories at 10:30 a.m.

Key Companies Reporting Earnings Feb. 5, 2014

  • Consensus earnings per share for Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) is $1.06.
    Consensus earnings per share for Merck & Company Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is $0.89.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) is $1.15.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is $0.91.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) is -$0.03.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR) is -$0.02. Today is the company's first quarterly report since becoming a public company.

Others Reporting Earnings:
Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN), W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA), Tesoro Corp. (NYSE: TSO), Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL), Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: MMP), Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: CCE), Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), Automatic Data Processing Inc. (Nasdaq: ADP)

PROFIT ALERT: Be Ready When This Tech Spin-Off Hits Wall Street

About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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