Chinese Currency Concerns Top Today's Stock Market News

Stock market news today, April 8, 2014: U.S. markets slumped for a third consecutive trading session on Monday following a sharp selloff in social media, Internet, and biotech stocks.

All three major indices slipped by more than 1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 166 points yesterday to finish at 16,245. The Nasdaq dropped 47 points to finish at 4,079, while the S&P 500 lost 20 points to end the day at 1,845.

With Alcoa being the first major company to report during second-quarter earnings season, here are the five things you should know to make your day profitable:

Five Biggest Stock Market News Stories, April 8, 2014

  • Staring Down China: Citing concerns over currency manipulation, the U.S. Treasury Department warned China over recent depreciation of the yuan. The U.S. has expressed strong concerns that China's currency policies have failed to allow free markets to set exchange rates. The argument over the yuan's depreciation has been a hot topic between the U.S. and China for years, given that a weak Chinese currency boosts its nation's export values at the expense of the dollar.
  • Bad News for Solar Stocks: Solar energy stocks took a hit on Monday after the Shareholders Foundation outlined a lawsuit against SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY). According to reports, certain shareholders allege that SolarCity has violated Federal Securities laws over allegedly false financial statements. The court filing states that Solar City told shareholders on March 18 to ignore and "not rely on" previous financial statements. These shareholders allege the company failed to have proper reporting processes in place.
  • Banks Behaving Badly: On Wednesday, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) said it will settle nearly $1.13 billion in claims from faulty mortgage securities the company sold to 18 institutional investors, including Goldman Sachs Asset Management and BlackRock Financial. As part of the agreement, Citigroup plans to take a first-quarter charge of nearly $100 million. However, the company is not immune from any future investor claims or regulatory actions by the U.S. government. The agreement, which the "victims" have until June 30 to accept, must also be approved by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In an unrelated story, Citigroup has told investors that it may not meet its profit target for the second quarter after regulators rejected its capital plan last month.
  • The Definition of Insanity: In the Financial Times on Monday, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers urged central banks to ramp up spending on infrastructure and to engage in further stimulus to stave off economic stagnation. Said Summers "In the U.S. the case for substantial investment promotion is overwhelming. Increased infrastructure spending would reduce burdens on future generations, not just by spurring growth but also by expanding the economy's capacity and reducing deferred maintenance obligations." Of course, Summers ignores the sheer amount of debt that future generations would bear.
  • Your New Champion: On Monday night, the University of Connecticut Huskies defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 to win the 2014 NCAA Basketball Championship in Arlington, Texas. CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) reported that ratings for the entire tournament (with partners TNT and TBS) increased over 2013. Saturday night's Final Four games ranked as the most watched college basketball telecast in history. CBS will announce ratings for last night's game today.

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 April 8, 2014

  • NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at 7:30 a.m.
  • ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
  • Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
  • JOLTS at 10 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 3-Yr Note Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks at 1:30 p.m.
  • Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speaks at 2:45 p.m.
  • Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks at 4 p.m.

Key Companies Reporting Earnings April 8, 2014

  • Consensus earnings per share for Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is $0.05.
  • Consensus earnings per share for International Speedway Corp. (Nasdaq: ISCA) is $0.33.
  • Consensus earnings per share for WD-40 Co. (Nasdaq: WDFC) is $0.68.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) is $0.65.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Mistras Group Inc. (NYSE: MG) is $0.13.

Other Companies Reporting

Chase Corp. (CCF)

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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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