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Stock market news today, August 21, 2014: Dow Jones futures were up 40 points (0.24%) this morning (Thursday). S&P futures gained 3.75 points (0.19%) and Nasdaq futures were also up 5.25 points (0.13%).
Yesterday saw the release of minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting in July. The minutes revealed that the U.S. Federal Reserve was impressed by job market's resilience, but still decided to wait on its decision of when it will raise interest rates.
Here are the top eight stories in the stock market today:
- Death of Retail: Shares of Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) were down more than 7% in premarket hours this morning after the company announced its ninth consecutive quarterly loss. SHLD – which runs both Kmart Stores and Sears locations – lost $573 million, or $5.39 per share, steeply outpacing its $194 million loss (or $1.83 per share) it reported in the same period of 2013. The company also reported a 10% revenue decline, but said that it saw 18% growth in its online and multichannel sales units. We put Sears Holding Corp. on "Death Watch" back in May – you can get that full story here…
- Bad Day for Miners: It could be a tough day for the mining sector in the markets today. Shares of Rio Tinto plc (NYSE: RIO) were down in premarket hours on news that factory data in China struck a three-month low. The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped from July's 18-month high of 51.7 to 50.3 in August. The data raises concerns that commodity demand in the world's second-largest economy could be slipping. Investors will want to also keep an eye on BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE ADR: BHP) and Anglo American Plc. (OTCMKTS ADR: AAUKY) this morning. The companies saw their shares on the London Stock Exchange slip earlier in the day.
- Oil Continues Its Slide: Oil futures slipped lower this morning. In New York, where West Texas Intermediate is priced on the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for October delivery fell -0.68%, dropping to nearly $93 per barrel. In London, where global Brent Crude is priced, October Brent slipped 0.80% to $101.46 a barrel.
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