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Stocks to Watch Today: GE, GOOG, MSFT, and More

After the markets got slammed yesterday (Thursday), falling 161 points on a number of fear-triggering global economic events, there are a handful of stocks to watch today in what could be another volatile performance.

While summertime Fridays are typically quiet for equities, today's schedule of market-moving events is jam-packed. It's also coming off a day that included a plane crash, the announcement of ground military offensive from Israel, and a 40% move in the Volatility Index (VIX).

Today's earnings calendar is full, and two key economic reports will provide a backdrop for benchmarks.

With earnings in focus, here are seven stocks to watch today.

Seven Stocks to Watch: GE, GOOG, MSFT, and More

Stocks to Watch TodayGeneral Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) posts Q2 numbers before the opening bell. Forecasts have the infrastructure and financial conglomerate reporting earnings per share (EPS) of $0.39, up $0.03 year over year (YOY). GE has been busy over the last several months. In June, GE agreed to buy Alstom SA for $17 billion, marking the largest acquisition in GE's history. Additionally, GE has ramped up efforts to sell its appliance business. In 2008, GE hired Goldman Sachs to run the sale, yet no buyer emerged. Then, plans to spin off the unit were stalled because of the recession. This time around, GE's appliance arm is anticipated to fetch $2 billion to $2.5 billion.

Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) were up more than 1% in after-hours trading yesterday on news that the company missed second-quarter earnings by $0.15 per share. Despite missing per-share expectations of $6.25, the company still reported quarterly revenue of $15.96 billion against Street estimates of $12.32 billion. Google stock is still a good investment considering its expansive reach in tech. Look for shares to move more today.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) jumped nearly 1% yesterday after the company formally announced it would slash 18,000 jobs as it absorbs Nokia's handset business. The layoffs represent a cut of 14% of the company's workforce and have many industry analysts wondering if Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is fully committed to the Nokia deal. But, the move says a lot about how far Nadella can take MSFT – here's the full story.

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