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Stock market today, July 24, 2014: U.S. markets were mixed Thursday on lackluster economic data. Industrial giant Caterpillar Inc.'s (NYSE: CAT) poor quarterly report offset gains from Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB). Shares of Caterpillar were off more than 3% after the company raised its yearly outlook but posted a quarterly decline. Shares of Facebook were up more than 6.5% hitting a new intraday record. The social media company now has a larger market cap than AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO).
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 17,083.80, -2.83 (-0.02%)
Nasdaq: 4472.11, -1.59 (-0.04%)
S&P 500: 1987.96, +0.95 (+0.05%)
And here are the top stories that affected the stock market today:
- Apparel Surge: Today's biggest winner in the S&P 500 was Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA). UA stock popped more than 13% to an all-time high on news that the company's quarterly revenue increased by 34%. The firm raised its forward guidance for 2014, as it anticipates strong growth in its footwear and international divisions.
- Growth Cuts: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced it again has cut its global growth forecast for 2014 to 3.4%, down from its April projection. Still, the IMF held its 4% expectation for 2015. Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist, said that they anticipate a market overreaction when the U.S. Federal Reserve tightens its stimulus efforts and possibly raises interest rates.
- Merger Mania: Online property giant Zillow Inc. (Nasdaq: Z) is reportedly looking at purchasing its rival Trulia Inc. (NYSE: TRLA) and valuating the company for as much as $2 billion. A deal, which could be announced as soon as next week, would combine the two largest property websites in the United States. Shares of Zillow rose more than 15% on the news, while shares of Trulia were up more than 32%. Combined, the two sites entertained 85 million unique visitors in June, or 89% of all real estate traffic.
- Daily Data Dump: Good news came in the employment market, as jobless claims fell to their lowest levels since February 2006. However, the housing market saw new home sales slump by 8.1% in June. This is the biggest monthly drop in nearly 12 months.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) announced plans to pay $275 million to resolve fraud allegations over mortgage-backed securities sold prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission concluded that Morgan Stanley misled investors on two residential securities that the company underwrote and sold. The SEC also said that Morgan Stanley altered delinquency rates on subprime loans, which provided a much rosier picture of the U.S. housing market.
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.