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Good morning! The Dow Jones today (Friday, Dec. 19) seeks to continue yesterday's 421-point surge – its top one-day performance in three years. Cheer over the Federal Reserve's timeline for raising interest rates fueled the climb. Technology stocks led the charge, with Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) gaining 9.2% on strong quarterly earnings.
However, the DJIA faces a possible bout of volatility on "quadruple witching" – a market-dropping phenomenon that occurs when the expirations of single-stock futures, index options, index futures, and stock options all happen on the same day.
Today, investors will listen to two speeches from members of the Fed Open Market Committee. They'll also watch for the S&P 500 to continue its 4.5% run since Wednesday morning.
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 Friday:
- Google on the Go: Reuters reports that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) is planning to create a version of Android that can be built directly into automobiles. That means users would be able to access the Internet without plugging in their smartphones. The first vehicles with the platform will be unveiled in 2015, and they will provide users with a number of apps that stream music and provide directions, among other uses. In the meantime, here's a look at the five best Google innovations of 2014…
- Bad Beat: Domestic shares of Blackberry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) were temporarily halted this morning in pre-market hours after the stock reported quarterly earnings. The stock slipped more than 5.6% despite reporting a surprise adjusted quarterly profit. The company did miss Wall Street revenue estimates. BBRY reported quarterly revenue of $793 million, down from consensus estimates of $927.8 million.
- The Next IPO: Last night, Juno Therapeutics (Nasdaq: JUNO) completed the pricing of its initial public offering (IPO) at $24 per share. The Seattle-based biotech company, which develops oncology therapies, was able to secure financing at the high end of its IPO range. Juno will begin trading this morning with a market capitalization of roughly $2 billion, and its Chief Executive Officer Hans Bishop will ring the Nasdaq opening bell. Get a jump on the hottest new publicly traded companies in the New Year with our list of the five biggest IPOs to watch in 2015…
- Sell, Sell, Sell: Shares of Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) were up more than 3% in pre-market hours on news that it has sold its IT outsourcing business to France's Atos Origin SA (OTCMKTS: AEXAF). The deal was worth roughly $1.05 billion. According to a statement from Xerox president Robert Zapfel, the sale will allow the firm to accelerate growth in its document and business process outsourcing divisions.
- Nice Payday: According to a securities filing, eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) CEO John Donahoe will receive a retirement package worth roughly $23 million next year. The payday will come after the company splits from its digital payment division PayPal in 2015. Shares of eBay Inc. were flat in pre-market hours.
Oil Prices Today: Oil prices hovered below $60 this morning as concerns about oversupply rattle through the markets. This morning, January 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, were up nearly 1% to $54.62 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude, priced in London, gained nearly 1.1% to hit $59.90 per barrel. Crude prices are facing their fourth-consecutive weekly drop if they remain at these levels on the day.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Carmax Inc. (NYSE: KMX), Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL), Finish Line Inc. (Nasdaq: FINL), and Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar December 19, 2014 (NYSE: all times EST)
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 10 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speaks at 12:30 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.