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Good morning! Futures indicate the Dow Jones today (Tuesday) will gain from Monday's record close, and could crack 18,000. Yesterday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs, with tech shares leading the surge. Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) jumped 2.3%, while International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) gained 1.85%.
What to watch today: Investors will have an eye on the 18,000 mark for the Dow Jones, while paying attention to a slew of economic data. This morning, the U.S. Commerce Department will offer its third and final reading on third-quarter GDP. Though the previous reading suggested robust 3.9% growth for the quarter, consensus estimates among economists suggest the economy actually grew by 4.3%. Investors will also pay attention to the November report on new home sales, as the report will likely affect a number of homebuilder stocks during today's session.
Here's what else you should know about the DJIA today – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" – to make it a profitable Tuesday:
- Merger Mix-Up: According to reports out of Washington, the $45.2 billion merger between Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) has been delayed for a second time over paperwork. On Monday, Time Warner was expected to provide more than 31,000 documents to the Federal Communications Commission, but missed its window for review. The agency's review will now be delayed until mid-January.
- Furniture Problems: Shares of Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) slipped more than 3.4% yesterday on news the company failed to meet third-quarter revenue expectations. The company reported quarterly earnings of $0.29 per share and revenue of $800 million. Consensus estimates placed earnings at $0.26 per share with revenue of $826.1 million.
- Merger Malcontent: The Charlotte Observer reports that Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) will likely delay a decision in a vote today on its proposed sale to Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR). Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has fueled opposition against the proposed merger. The company is attempting to sell itself for $8.5 billion to Dollar Tree while trying to avoid a $9.1 billion hostile takeover by Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG).
- Buyback Boom: Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) jumped more than 4.2% in pre-market hours on news the company introduced a $1 billion share buyback plan. The oil and gas giant said it also plans to close the sale of several shale assets for roughly $5 billion. Shares crashed roughly 7.5% during yesterday's trading session due to falling oil prices.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were back on the rise this morning ahead of a slew of U.S. economic data that could suggest demand in the U.S. will help buoy prices. This morning, January 2015 futures for WTI oil increased 1.2% to $55.96 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil jumped more than 1.1% to hit $60.77 per barrel. The price increase comes just a day after Saudi Arabian oil ministers said that they would never slash production despite falling prices.
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features a third update on third-quarter GDP, the weekly ICSC-Goldman retail report, the monthly report on consumer sentiment, and November's new home sales.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG), Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: CALM), and CalAmp Corp (Nasdaq: CAMP).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar December 23, 2014
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Corporate Profits at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 9:55 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 2-Year FRN Note Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Auction at 1 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.