Dow Jones Futures Up Today Following S&P 500's Flirtation with Record Highs

Stock market news today, August 14, 2014: Dow Jones futures were up 17 points (0.10%) this morning (Thursday) following U.S. stocks' rally in the last trading session. Nasdaq 100 futures and S&P 500 futures were also both in the green. Yesterday, the S&P 500 Index saw a strong afternoon of trading, with all 10 of its sector indexes making gains. The index is now roughly 2% below its all-time high registered back in July.

But it wasn't all good stock market news - reduced consumer spending figures for July had an adverse effect on retail, and Brent oil prices jumped back from their 13-month low.

Here's a roundup of the top stories in stock market news today:

    dow jones futures

  • Ending the Monopoly: The nation of Mexico announced plans to set aside fourth-fifths of new prospective oil fields for bidding by private companies as its begins steps to end its seven-decade monopoly on energy production through state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The Mexican Senate approved the reform deal in December, and the deal is expected to bring in an additional $10 billion in annual revenues for the country. With bidding expected to start in early 2015, American companies will likely focus on deep-water reserves in the Gulf of Mexico as prime targets, a boon for oil field service companies and managers of oil rigs.
  • Merger Mania: According to Reuters, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is in talks to sell its household appliance division to two international companies for roughly $2 billion. The report indicates that the company will sell its GE Monogram, GE Cafe, and Hotpoint brands to Quirky Inc. and Sweden's Electrolux AB (OTC: ELUXY). The deal is part of General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt's strategy to focus on industrial operations like jet-engine manufacturing. News of restructuring today isn't the first for GE recently - just July 31, GE spun off its consumer-finance arm Synchrony in an IPO. You can get that full story here...
  • Mobile Surge: Shares of Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTC: LNGVY) were on the rise on news that the company's first-quarter profits surged more than 23%. The world's largest personal computer manufacturer reported strong growth in mobile devices and desktop stations. The company is attempting to aggressively expand across multiple divisions with a strong emphasis on acquisitions as a primary growth strategy. In January, Lenovo announced two major deals. It tentatively agreed to purchase Motorola Mobility from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) for roughly $2.91 billion, and it planned to purchase a server unit from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) for $2.3 billion.

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  • Digital Dive: Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) slipped in post-market hours after the company announced another round of layoffs to slash internal costs and improve its 2014 outlook. On Wednesday, CSCO reported a Q4 earnings beat. However, the firm said it will cut 6,000 employees in a "limited restructuring" of its operations. This is the second big payroll reduction at Cisco in consecutive years. Last year, the company cut 5% of its global workforce, or roughly 4,000 employees.
  • Viewing Habits Changing: In an effort to determine the potential of gaining new advertising dollars and to better understand television viewing habits, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has been working with cable network FX on new experiments in on-demand viewing. According to a report by USA Today, cable companies and TV networks could begin releasing multiple shows at once as "mini-bingeing" - a process in which viewers watch more than one episode back to back - becomes a more common habit among audiences. The report indicates that pay-television is attempting to shift audiences away from DVR to on-demand where fast-forwarding can be prevented and advertising is again viewed by widespread audiences.
  • Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features the EIA Natural Gas Report, an update to the Fed Balance Sheet, Import and Export Prices, MBA Purchase Applications, and weekly jobless claims.
  • Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP), Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (NYSE: PWE), B2Gold Corp. (NYSE: BTG), Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG), Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), Constellation Energy Partners LLC (NYSE: CEP), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), and JC Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP).

Full U.S. Economic Calendar August 14, 2014 (NYSE: all times EDT)

  • MBA Purchase Applications at 8 a.m.
  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 5-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

If there's one thing that concerns everyone it's a threat to their capital. There's news on that front that's both unsettling and enlightening. The threat is "bail-ins" - not to be confused with "bail-outs." Here are the latest developments, and how to protect yourself against the coming "bail-in" regime...

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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