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Stock market futures for Thursday, Nov. 13, surged higher after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations. It was also the first time in nearly two years the world's largest retailer reported a quarterly upturn in comparable same-store sales.
An announcement of a $4.7 billion deal that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) will acquire the Duracell battery business from Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) also boosted U.S. stock market futures this morning.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones dropped 2 points, ending its streak of five consecutive record-high closings. The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) – the market's volatility gauge – increased a little less than 1%.
Today, keep an eye the market's reaction to another round of Chinese data and a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Yellen will provide opening remarks at the joint Fed-ECB conference in Washington, where global monetary policy will be in focus.
Here's what else you should know – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" – to make your Tuesday profitable:
- Merger Mania: Toymaker Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq: HAS) is in talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation Skg Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA). Bloomberg reports that DreamWorks Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg is seeking a price of more than $30 per share, a roughly 30% premium from Wednesday's close. The deal would be a blockbuster for Hasbro, signaling its transition into film and entertainment as a growth strategy.
- Full Steam Ahead: Although company shares are under pressure from possible Net Neutrality legislation, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) said its merger with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) is poised to close in the near future. The deal would create the nation's largest cable and Internet provider, dwarfing the nearest rival in size and scale. Both firms are leading a significant lobbying effort to beat back U.S. President Barack Obama's call for the FCC to regulate the Internet like a public utility. Shares of Comcast were up more than 1.2% on Wednesday.
- Twitter Tear: Shares of Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR) jumped more than 7% on Wednesday during Analyst Day. Following speeches from the firm's CEO and CFO, the social media giant introduced a number of new apps and plans for enhanced private messaging. More significantly, the company said more than 500 million people visit its site each month, although it has under 250 million active users. Get the most important info about Twitter stock here.
- Slumping Sales: Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) was the Dow's largest decliner yesterday, slipping 9.4%. The stock dropped on weak third-quarter earnings. The company's adjusted per-share earnings registered at $1.01, off from Wall Street's consensus estimate of $1.13. Shares of SeaWorld are now down more than 50% from their 52-week high.
- Should She Stay: The pressure is on Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer. According to Reuters, two of its largest shareholders are criticizing her efforts to turn the company around. The report indicates that there is mounting pressure for the firm to reach a merger agreement with AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL). Shares of Yahoo jumped more than 3% on Wednesday on speculation of a possible deal. Here are the three things that YHOO stock investors need to see from Mayer now…
- Oil Prices Today: Crude oil prices fell again on Thursday after OPEC announced it expected weaker demand in 2015 and Saudi Arabia remained quiet about production cuts. Brent crude, the global benchmark priced in London, briefly fell below $80 for the first time since 2010. Meanwhile, WTI crude, priced in New York City, fell to $77 per share. Falling prices continue to drag down energy stocks around the globe.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Dillard's Inc. (NYSE: DDS), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), and Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar November 13, 2014 (NYSE: all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 AM ET
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Yr TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speaks at 12:30 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 12:45 a.m.
- 30-Yr Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.