5 Stories to Watch Before the Stock Market Opens Today

Stock market news today, April 14, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 143 points on Friday to finish at 16,026.75. The Nasdaq dropped 54 points to finish at 3,999.73, while the S&P 500 lost 17 points to end the day at 1,815.69.

Here are the top five news stories to watch in the stock market today:

Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, April 14, 2014

  • How Much in Taxes Does President Obama Pay: U.S. President Barack Obama paid a 20% tax rate on his 2014 tax return. According to White House reports over the weekend, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid $98,169 in taxes on a combined, adjusted income of $481,098. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Jill Biden paid $96,378 on a combined, adjusted gross income of $407,009.
  • To the Masses: It looks like we're about to find out just how serious the 3-D printing market is going to become. This weekend, Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) and 3D Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: DDD) announced a partnership to provide 3-D printing services to small businesses. The partnership will provide a Staples store on New York City's Fifth Avenue with a $65,000 printer that will allow users to print projects and test new creative concepts. In addition, the store will offer two 3-D printers for sale to the public, the first valued at $1,300 and another at $4,000. 3D Systems also plans to have a team on site to provide training on the printer's functionality and to educate graphic artists. The project will also have a second test site in Los Angeles this year.
  • The New Phone Battle: CEO Jeff Bezos won't be happy until his company completely runs the world.  Over the weekend, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) officially announced plans to release its own smartphone in the second half of 2014. This is the second major technology gadget announcement in a month for the company, following its release of the Amazon Fire TV. Amazon continues its hard entry into tech hardware as it targets Apple Inc. (Nasadaq: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. According to reports, Amazon will preview the phone in late June and begin shipping in September, ahead of the holiday shopping season.
  • It's Going Down: According to various reports, Bill Ackman's crusade against health company Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) is making serious headway. On Friday, the FBI announced a probe into Herbalife's marketing practices and Ackman's accusations that the company is engaged in a pyramid scheme, according to the Financial Times. On Friday, Herbalife shares plummeted by 14% on news of the investigation.
  • IMF Issues Inflation Warning: The International Monetary Fund announced warnings that low inflation is a possible threat to the global economy in the coming year. The IMF said that low inflation could lead to downward price pressures and fuel growing concerns about nations being unable to reduce their structural debts. According to the IMF's statement on Saturday, "Downside risks remain to the global outlook, including notably renewed market volatility, very low inflation in some advanced economies, high levels of public debt and geopolitical tensions." The warning comes five years after the global financial crisis deflated prices around the globe and collapsed international trade.

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 14, 2014

  • Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
  • Business Inventories at 10 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.

Key Companies Reporting Earnings April 14, 2014

  • Consensus earnings per share for Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is $1.18.
  • Consensus earnings per share for M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB) is $1.61.
  • Consensus earnings per share for J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JBHT) is $0.63.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. (Nasdaq: PNFP) is $0.45.     
  • Consensus earnings per share for Piper Jaffray Co. (NYSE: PJC) is $0.77.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW)    is $0.30.          
  • Consensus earnings per share for World Energy Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: XWES) is $-0.04.
  • Consensus earnings per share for EL Paso Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: EPB) is $0.50. 
  • Consensus earnings per share for BancFirst Corp. (Nasdaq: BANF) is $0.83.
  • Consensus earnings per share for American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) is $0.51.

Quantitative easing is coming to Europe, and you can take advantage by positioning yourself now. Here's how you can get your share of an extra trillion Euros...

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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