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Good morning! Stock market futures today (Monday) forecast a 53 point dip for the Dow Jones. On Friday, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit new records, while the Nasdaq hit its highest level in 14 years.
What to watch today: Investors will keep a close eye on events in Greece. On Monday, the nation's parliament will hold a vote to decide whether the body's leading coalition is able to gather enough votes to elect a new president. Should the vote fail, markets will likely react negatively on concerns that the country could hold a snap election in which the left-wing opposition Syriza party may rise to power and reject a much-needed international bailout.
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 Monday:
- Tech Boom: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) rose more than 1.7% on Friday on renewed optimism for the company's 2015 outlook. The company spent more than $56 billion this year on buy backs, but the biggest news on social media this weekend was its release of Sony Corp's (ADR) (NYSE: SNE) controversial film "The Interview" on iTunes. To date, Apple stock is up more than 40% in 2014, and the company is poised to ride a $1 trillion technology wave. Here's why Money Morning's Defense and Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson sees the stock surging more than 27% from today's price.
- Missing Plane: Shares of Airbus Group (OTC: EADSY) are in focus this morning after an AirAsia passenger jet with 162 passengers went missing early Sunday shortly after takeoff. The plane that disappeared was an Airbus A320-200. The jet vanished over the Java Sea an hour into the flight that originated in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city. This is the third Malaysian airline involved in a tragedy in the last year.
- Time to Sell: The board of American Apparel Inc. (NYSE: APP) received a letter from British buyout firm Lion Capital, pushing it to explore strategic options include a sale, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday. The company also announced plans to nominate one of its founders to AAP's board of directors. The board recently received an offer for $1.40 per share for the company from Irving Place Capital, but rejected the deal after saying the value was too low. APP stock is up marginally after the company recently relieved its founder and CEO Dov Charney of his duties last month.
- The Daily Deal: Shares of Groupon Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN) jumped more than 3.1% on Friday on news that Goldman Sachs Corp. (NYSE: GS) may take a stake in its Korean arm Ticket Monster. Groupon purchased the ticket agency from competitor Living Social for $260 million in 2013. The Korea Times reports that Groupon is planning to sell at least 20% of its stake. However, it may also consider offloading more than 50% and handing over management to the right buyer.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices had their fifth consecutive weekly drop on Friday, but prices are back on the rise Monday. According to reports, fighting at one of Libya's main oil export terminals destroyed two days of the nation's energy production. This morning, January 2015 futures for WTI oil increased by 1.3% to hit $55.43 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude jumped more than 1.4% to hit $60.31 per barrel. Falling oil prices have had a drastic impact on global energy stocks, but none were more significantly hampered than Russian ADRs. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index slipped 48% year-to-date through Dec. 26.
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, the Fed balance sheet, and an update on existing home sales.
Full U.S. Economic Calendar December 29, 2014
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.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.