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What to watch today: The U.S. stock markets continue to retreat on concerns about falling oil prices, ahead of several labor market indicators released today. On Monday, crude oil prices crashed to a new five-year low, slipping more than 4% on the day after Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) slashed its oil forecast through 2018. The investment bank said it expects oil prices to hit a new low in the second quarter of 2015.
Investors will also turn their attention to macroeconomic problems happening in Europe and China. European stocks fell this morning, and China's Shanghai Composite dropped 5.4%. This morning, the Greek stock market fell more than 10% on news that the nation received a two-month bailout extension from Eurozone leaders and plans to move up its national elections by two months.
Here's the other stock market news to know today – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" – to make it a profitable Tuesday:
- Let's Haggle: E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has unveiled a "make an offer" icon to its online sales platform. This will allow users to seek even lower prices than listed. The firm said that roughly 150,000 items would be categorized under the new program, with items ranging from collectibles to artwork. The company plans to ramp up such offerings in 2015 and beyond.
- Price War Continues: Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) slipped more than 2% this morning on news that the company expects weaker profits in the fourth quarter due to a hike in promotional offers and discounts. It was just last week that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) announced a new pricing scheme to poach customers away from AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Verizon, raising new concerns about a price war. Verizon will announce fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 22, 2015.
- Stretching Profits: Shares of yoga-clothing manufacturer Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU) were up more than 1.2% in pre-market hours on news that the stock received an upgrade. According to reports, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) upgraded the firm to "outperform" from "market perform." The bank said that Lululemon has successfully addressed supply-chain problems and can expect stronger profit margins heading into 2015.
- Soccer Slump: Shares of Manchester United Plc. (NYSE: MANU) slipped by more than 5.5% on Tuesday morning on news that the controlling family planned to decrease its holdings in the English soccer team. ESPN reports that the Edward Glazer family has put more than three million shares up for sale roughly six months after his father passed away. Malcom Glazer purchased the team in 2005 for roughly $1.5 billion, and shares were distributed equally in his will to his six children.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices ticked upward after falling to five-year lows. OPEC's largest member has strongly indicated that it has no plans to slash output or surrender market share. This morning, January 2015 futures for U.S. crude hit $63.58 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude ticked to $66.52 per barrel.
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features an update on wholesale trade, the JOLTS report, and the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD), Autozone Inc. (NYSE: AZO), and Burlington Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: BURL).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar Dec. 9, 2014
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at 7:30 a.m.
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- Wholesale Trade at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 3-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.