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What to watch today: keep an eye on global commodity prices in today's trading session, as global oil, gold, and silver prices are all rising. In addition, markets could see a boost on rumors that the Chinese central bank is considering another interest rate cut in order to spur economic growth. Meanwhile, U.S. investors will keep a close eye on what's happening in Congress this week. According to reports, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner is working with party leaders to devise a spending bill that would avoid a government shutdown.
Here's what else you should know about the stock market today – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" – to make it a profitable Tuesday:
- Cyber Frenzy: Yesterday's online shopping holiday offered a big boost to retailers. Sales increased 8.7% from 2013, according to IBM Digital Analytics. Shares of e-commerce giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) were on the rise this morning on news that the company processed a new record for orders on Cyber Monday. The company reported more than 1.5 billion views on its homepage over the five shopping days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.
- Apple Slides: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slumped as much as 6.4% in a single minute on Monday in what looks like a mini-flash crash. Here's a full breakdown of one of today's craziest moments in the markets. AAPL stock is down again this morning ahead of opening arguments of a decade-old antitrust lawsuit against the company over its iTunes digital music services.
- The Rich Get Richer: The world's largest ride-sharing program, Uber, is now receiving financing that values it at $40 billion. The company has continued to hold off on an IPO, so you still can't invest in it directly right now. However, some high-net worth investors with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) will receive the opportunity through a private placement deal, according to Fortune. Goldman's investors also received a chance to invest in Facebook in 2011, well ahead of the company's historic initial public offering.
- Merger Mania: Shares of Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: AVNR) soared more than 13% in pre-market hours on news it will be purchased by Japanese drug manufacturer Otsuka Pharmaceutical. The deal is worth roughly $3.5 billion. Meanwhile, Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: CY) announced it will purchase Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a manufacturer of flash memory devices. That will be a $1.59 billion all-stock deal. Shares of Spansion jumped nearly 18% in pre-market hours.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices have steadied after slipping recently to five-year lows. January futures for U.S. crude hovered to a price near $68.55 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude was back above $72 per barrel. Oil prices remain subdued after OPEC decided to maintain production levels despite rising global supplies and concerns about weakening demand.
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features speeches from two Federal Reserve members, the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report, and an update on construction spending.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), GW Pharmaceuticals Plc. (Nasdaq ADR: GWPH), Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (Nasdaq: SBLK), and Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLE).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar Dec. 2, 2014
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks at 8:15 a.m.
- Gallup US ECI at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard speaks at 12 p.m.
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.