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Today, investors will keep an eye on international events. Yesterday, Russia's central bank raised its key interest rate to 17% in order to stave off a crash in the country's currency, the ruble. This morning, the ruble jumped against the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, factory production in China slipped in November, raising new calls for stimulus. The company's factory sector contracted for the first time in seven months. The softening of the factory sector has also weighed on oil prices as global demand is expected to be weaker than previously forecasted for 2015.
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:
- Ford Falls: Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) fell more than 4.7% on Monday on news that the company received a downgrade from an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE: DB). The analyst raised concerns about future sales of the company's best-selling vehicle, the F-150, in the face of falling gasoline prices.
- Merger Mania: Shares of Olam International Ltd. (OTCMKTS ADR: OLMIY) slipped nearly 2% on Monday on news that it will purchase Archer Daniels Midland Co.'s (NYSE: ADM) cocoa business for $1.3 billion. The Singapore-based Olam will now be in the top three processors of cocoa beans. Emerging market demand for cocoa is now beginning to rival demand in Europe and the United States. Shares of ADM were flat in pre-market hours.
- Problems Ahead: Shares of Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) were down about 1% in pre-market hours on news that the company has slashed its 2014 profit forecast and lowered its expectations for 2015. The global home-appliance maker said it expects per-share profits to register this year at $8 to $8.20. This is down from previous per-share forecasts of $9.40 to $9.90. The company has struggled to win business in troubled European economies.
- Buyout Boom: Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) were up more than 1.7% in pre-market hours on news that the company will hike its quarterly dividend and repurchase $12 billion of stock over the next three years. The company's dividend increased by 25%. For a breakdown of 25 other stocks prepared to hike their dividends, be sure to visit right now.
- Dropped Charges: According to reports, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced plans to dismiss insider trading charges against one person who allegedly made gains using privileged information by purchasing Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) options. The financial agency had charged the man for buying the options after he heard that activist investor Bill Ackman planned to deliver a negative presentation on the company's marketing practices. The news was hardly surprising to our Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani, who explained this week that a recent court decision has practically legalized insider trading. To read Shah's explosive indictment against the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, click here.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices continued to slide this morning on news that Chinese factory production slipped in November. Renewed concerns about emerging markets and their struggling currencies also contributed to the decline. This morning, January 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, dipped 0.5% to hit $55.63 per barrel, its lowest levels since May 2009. Meanwhile, Brent crude, priced in London, retreated again to $60.70 per barrel. Sliding oil prices continue to put pressure on OPEC. As our Kyle Anderson explains, the global oil cartel is on the verge of collapse.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Navistar International Corp (NYSE: NAV), Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI), FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE: FDS), and Heico Corp. (NYSE: HEI).
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report, an update on U.S. housing starts, and the PMI Manufacturing Index.
Full U.S. Economic Calendar December 16, 2014
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.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.