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Good morning! Stock market futures for Thursday, Dec. 11, forecasted a 47-point increase from the Dow's close yesterday. The U.S. stock market suffered broad declines Wednesday as global energy prices cratered. In fact, crude prices are approaching a historic bear-market level, with oil dropping 45.1% since Sept. 2013.
Today, investors will continue to keep an eye on global oil prices. Earlier this morning, Brent prices slid below $65 per barrel and hovered near five-year lows. In addition, it's important to monitor economic events in Japan, where weak data continues to spook investors in other markets. Gold prices are now moving toward a seven-month high as the dollar and global stocks continue to decline.
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 Thursday:
- Cutting Back: The Wall Street Journal reports that eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) may cut up to 10% of its global workforce next year. According to the report, the company could slash up to 3,000 jobs as its spins off its PayPal unit. The standalone company may be attempting to position itself as a potential takeover target as it faces increased competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA).
- Stepping Down: Shares of Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) were up nearly 2% in pre-market hours on news that its Chief Executive Officer Greg Wasson will soon retire. Wasson will step down shortly after the company completes its acquisition of Alliance Boots GmbH. This is the second major resignation of a Corporate CEO this week. On Monday, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) announced that its CEO abruptly stepped down.
- Shutdown Possible: According to reports, Democrats in the Senate, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), are balking at the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed the House of Representatives this week. This raises the possibility of a government shutdown as the progressive wing of the chamber rallies against a provision that could weaken enforcement of the Dodd-Frank Act.
- Hot New IPO: Online peer-to-peer lending giant Lending Club Corp. announced late Wednesday that it has priced its initial public offering at $15 per share. The company announced it had raised $870 million for the company, which will be valuated at $5.5 billion.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil slumped again this morning. OPEC member Kuwait is now selling crude to China for $3.95 below its partners Oman and the UAE. This morning, January 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, slipped below $61.00 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude, priced in London, retreated to a little less than $64.50 per barrel.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE), and Methode Electronics Inc. (NYSE: MEI).
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features the EIA Natural Gas Report, an update on business inventories, and weekly U.S. jobless claims.
Full U.S. Economic Calendar Dec. 11, 2014
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Yr TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Yr Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 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.