Today's stock market news, March 24, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined on Friday slightly by 0.19% to close at 16,300.45; last week, the Dow gained 1.45%, or 232.83 points.
On Friday, the Nasdaq slipped 42.50 points to finish at 4,276.79, while the S&P 500 dropped 5.49 points to end the day at 1,866.52.
Now here are the stories moving markets today:
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, March 24, 2014
- Investors Unfazed: Global markets were up on Monday, despite China's PMI falling to an eight-month low of 48.1. The consensus expectations for the PMI was 48.7, suggesting that the nation's growth is slowing down more than anticipated. It is likely, with the threat of missing its anticipated growth target of 7.5%, that China will begin stimulus measures, according to Zhang Zhiwei, economist at Nomura International in Hong Kong.
- Apple on the Move: The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) are uniting to create an online television streaming services that will help users "bypass web congestion." Apple's goal is to "allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the "cloud," effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box." Though the deal is in its infancy, and both companies declined to comment on the agreement, the cooperation represents a new step in digital programming and sets the tone for the future of in-home entertainment.
- Banks Behaving Badly: While the U.S. investigates hiring practices by JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) in China, one of the bank's top employees will be stepping down. Fang Fang, a vice chair at the bank, will likely leave this week, according to multiple reports. The U.S. Justice Department and the SEC have been investigating the bank's hiring practices for more than a year, focusing on whether JPMorgan has given jobs to the children of elite Chinese families or the sons and daughters of key political officials in an effort to win business, a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Ecological Disaster: More than 168,000 gallons of crude oil may have spilled from a tanker after a collision in the Galveston Bay in Texas, according to ABC. The spill is currently blocking the busy Houston Ship Channel and has brought local trade to a complete halt. The U.S. Coast Guard said that a tanker collided with a ship, and that oil from the spill has been detected more than 12 miles away. Cleanup efforts are likely to continue well into the summer.
- A Tasty IPO: With its initial public offering looming, GrubHub Inc. will likely price more than 7.03 million shares at $20-$22 per share. The price values the nation's largest U.S. online food delivery services at approximately $1.72 billion. According to Reuters, the deal would raise the company nearly $155 million. In 2013, GrubHub had revenues of $137.1 million, with net profits of $6.8 million.
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U.S. Economic Calendar March 24, 2014
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Gov. Jeremy Stein Speaks at 9 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 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.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speaks at 1:45 p.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings March 24, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Renesola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) is $-0.11.
- Consensus earnings per share for Hastings Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: HAST) is $0.53.
- Consensus earnings per share for Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD) is $1.93.
- Consensus earnings per share for Sapient Corp. (Nasdaq: SAPE) is $0.10.
- Consensus earnings per share for Global Partners LP (NYSE: GLP) is $0.54.
Others Reporting Earnings
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