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Stock market today, May 23, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased on Thursday on positive news in the housing market. Data from the National Association of Realtors indicated a 1.3% increase in home sales in April. This is the first increase of the year.
Here's what to watch for in the stock market today:
- The Mega Energy Deal: In what appears to be a jab at Ukraine's natural gas debts, Alexander Medvedev, Chief Executive of Gazprom Export, announced today that China has agreed to prepay $25 billion in its mega gas supply deal with Russia. This week, Russia and China signed a 30-year gas supply contract, which will ultimately be worth more than $400 billion. Ukraine, meanwhile, could see its supply cut off from Russia over a $2 billion debt.
- A Billion Here, A Billion There: Ride-sharing startup Uber is currently talking with investors at BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), General Atlantic, and Technology Crossover Ventures about raising additional capital. The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber aims to raise $500 million, offering shares that would value the company at a staggering $12 billion. An initial public offering is expected in the near future, but the company appears to be waiting out the market.
- Banks Behaving Badly: After settling over its role in a massive scheme to manipulate Libor Interest Rates, Barclays Plc (NYSE: BCS) has now been fined 26 million pounds ($43.8 million) over manipulation in gold prices. British regulators are faulting the bank for failing to bolster risk management controls and to properly monitor traders who rigged gold prices.
- Today's Economic Calendar: A thin economic calendar Friday features a report on new home sales. In March, new home sales slumped by 14.5% to a 384,000 annual rate. A positive number would restore confidence in a struggling housing sector, which remains a chief economic concern to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.