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Today's stock market news, Feb. 14, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked back above 16,000 on Thursday as the market continues to shrug off weak economic data. Due to the snowstorm that battered the East Coast on Thursday, the scheduled meeting between Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the Senate Banking Committee has been postponed until later this month.
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, Feb. 14, 2014:
- Who Will Merge Next: The blockbuster deal that would see Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) to purchase Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) is the talk of technology and media speculators. Many are now attempting to determine who will be partners in the next megadeal. Many on the street have begun chattering again about a possible deal between DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH) and DIRECTV (Nasdaq: DTV) in the satellite business. Investors are even confident in a possible deal between Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: PCS) in the wireless sector, even though regulators seem adamant about preventing this deal. Expect a lot of talk about the next big tech deal in the coming months. You can get the Comcast deal details here.
- Gold Surging: Gold prices continue to rise, as metal prices have climbed for eight straight trading sessions, the longest win streak since 2011. The spot price hit a three-month high this morning. As a result, gold will likely post its best weekly gain since October as concerns about the economy and poor economic data continue to batter the global markets. And gold is now poised to see another strong weak should emerging markets and debt concerns continue to dominate international headlines. China is another big factor in higher gold prices in 2014 – get that story here.
- China's Inflation Situation: In a positive report this week, China's inflation levels stayed steady in January. Global economists are still concerned that the nation's central bank will struggle to maintain coherent monetary policy as increasing debt overshadows slowing economic growth. The nation's consumer-price index rose 2.5% over the last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
- The $50 Billion Storm: According to CNBC, the winter weather that has battered the country has had a significant impact on the nation's economy. According to a recent Fed Survey by the network, the crushing weather could end up costing the country as much as $50 billion in economic growth and more than 76,000 jobs. The weather has cut into employment records and retail sales since December. Our Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald discussed how weather affects the economy – and how you can profit from its effects – when he visited FOX Business' "Varney & Co." show Tuesday.
- A Star Wars Powerhouse: On Thursday, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) signed a deal with The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) to stream new episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on its subscription services. Thanks to the agreement, Netflix will receive exclusive rights to stream previously unaired episodes of the show and new episodes that are currently in development. Netflix hit a new 52-week high on Thursday of $434.34.
Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility ahead. So we've outlined how 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. 14, 2014:
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 9:55 a.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings Feb. 14, 2014:
- Consensus earnings per share for Arbor Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: ABR) is $0.11.
- Consensus earnings per share for Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) is $0.73.
- Consensus earnings per share for Hyatt Hotels Corp. (NYSE: H) is $0.20.
- Consensus earnings per share for ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT) is $0.47.
- Consensus earnings per share for Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI) is $0.97.
- Consensus earnings per share for World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is $-0.05.
Others Reporting Earnings:
- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (TRW) Ventas Inc. (VTR), Mobile Mini Inc. (MINI), JMP Group Inc. (JMP), Coty Inc. (COTY), LifePoint Hospitals Inc. (LPNT)
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