Stock Market Futures Down Today on Weak European Data

Stock market futures, Oct. 7, 2014: The U.S. stock markets slipped on Monday during a busy day for the tech and healthcare sectors. In a surprise announcement on Monday, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) said it will split into two separate companies and lay off nearly 5,000 employees. The firm will split into two listed companies, one a personal computer business and the other a manufacturer of printers. Hewlett-Packard shares were up more than 4.5% on the day.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, was up 6.25% on the day.

Here's what else you should know to make your Tuesday profitable:

  • stock market futuresGermany Troubles Continue: U.S. futures were in the red this morning after new concerns emerged for the German economy. For the second consecutive day, weak German data and concerns about rising government debts sent European markets down. Industrial output in Germany slipped 4.5% in August, a concerning figure after the nation also reported on Monday that German factory orders had declined in August by 5.7%. The slowdown in the world's largest economic bloc has many speculating that the European Central Bank will likely begin its own version of quantitative easing in order to beat back threats of a recession in the zone.
  • The Daily Deal: Shares of mining giant Rio Tinto Plc. (NYSE ADR: RIO) soared more than 9% yesterday on speculation that the company could be purchased by one of its rivals. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that its rival Glencore International Plc.(OTCMKTS: GLNCY) is currently exploring its options and could forge a merger very soon.
  • Layoffs Coming: Turner Broadcasting System, a network operating unit of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) announced it will be slashing roughly 10% of its workforce or 1,475 jobs. Turner is the parent unit of CNN, TNT, and TBS networks. Shares of Time Warner were down 1.2% yesterday.
  • Redtape: Shares of H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) slipped by 5.5% yesterday on news that the company is struggling to sell its banking division due to delays in the regulatory approval process. The delay will prevent the company from completing the deal before the 2015 tax season. In April, the company announced its intentions to sell the banking division to BofI Federal Bank.
  • Under the Microscope: The Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union has opened an investigation into the tax arrangements between Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Luxembourg. The commission is investigating a 2003 tax deal to decide whether Luxemborg provided "illegal state subsidies" to Amazon. This is the latest American company to find itself in hot water over tax agreements in Europe. Other investigations hit Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) this year.
  • Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features two speeches by Federal Reserve Bank presidents, an update on consumer credit, and the weekly CSC-Goldman Store Sales report.
  • Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Landec Corp. (Nasdaq: LNDC), MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG), and Mistras Group Inc. (NYSE: MG).

Full U.S. Economic Calendar Oct. 7, 2014

  • CSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
  • Gallup US ECI at 8:30 a.m.
  • Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
  • JOLTS at 10 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 3-Yr Note Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks at 2:30 p.m.
  • New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley speaks at 3 p.m.
  • Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.

What to Read Now: Former Fidelity Magellan Fund manager Peter Lynch used to tell investors to "buy what you know." It's good advice, and following it can help you add easy "muscle" to your returns...

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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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