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What to watch today: Keep an eye on the forecast provided by ADP Payroll Services, whose report offers the first glimpse of the November unemployment rate. This morning the ADP report indicated that 208,000 private-sector jobs were created last month, down from expectations of 221,000. Despite the downturn, more momentum came in the third quarter on news that worker productivity has been revised upward to 2.3%. This is an increase from the previous estimate of 2.0%.
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:
- Helicopter Frenzy: On Thursday, the European Central Bank will meet to discuss possible stimulus efforts designed to shore up the region's struggling economy. It appears that a large-scale bond-purchasing program, one similar to efforts employed by both the United States and Japan, is gaining momentum. But as our Peter Krauth explains, this constant era of cheap money is dangerous. And he has advice on how to protect your assets in the era of "Helicopter Money."
- Hack Attack: The film and entertainment subsidiary of Sony Corp. (NYSE ADR: SNE) is still struggling to bring its computer network back online, one week after a serious hacking attack. According to reports of the incident, a hacking group called Guardians of Peace hit their network and was able to pirate five films slated for release in the near future. Some are calling this the most devastating hacking attack ever on a U.S. company. Sony employees have been forced to return to the days of pens, paper, and fax machines to get work done.
- Price Wars Continue: Telecom shares slumped today on renewed concerns about a price war for wireless services heading into 2015. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) announced yesterday it would cut monthly service costs to users who switch from rivals Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). Similar offers have been provided by T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) in the past, weighing down the sector. Verizon shares fell more than 1.8%, while AT&T slipped 2.2%.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices continue to remain volatile in the wake of geopolitical disagreements on near-term production. On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced it would not slash production unless other nations like the United States follow suit. The announcement was aimed to protect the Saudis' market share. This morning, January futures for WTI oil hovered near $67.37 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil sat at just a little less than $71 per barrel. With OPEC intent on allowing prices to remain subdued, here's how to play oil stocks in the months ahead.
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features speeches from three Federal Reserve officials, the EIA Petroleum Status Report, an early look at unemployment in the United States, and the Beige Book.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY), Brown-Forman Corp. (BF.B), Leidos Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LDOS) Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), and Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar Dec. 3, 2014
- MBA Purchase Application at 7 a.m.
- ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
- Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report 10:30 a.m.
- Global Composite PMI at 11 a.m.
- Global Services PMI at 11 a.m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser speaks at 12:30 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard speaks at 2 p.m.
- Beige Book at 2 p.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speaks at 7:30 p.m.