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Good morning! Stock market futures for Tuesday, Dec. 30, forecasted a 15-point decline as falling oil prices and concerns about Greek debt weigh on the markets. European markets fell on the last full day of trading.
Today, investors will continue to keep a close eye on energy prices and turn their eyes to Greece, where the nation's parliament failed to approve the government's presidential candidate. This could spur early elections and fuel a rise of the anti-austerity Syriza party, which aims to cancel the nation's debt and spurn the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. The most watched piece of economic data today will likely be the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks residential real estate prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan regions.
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:
- Christmas Wish: It looks like shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) could experience a nice boost after this holiday season. According to a report by Flurry Analytics, roughly 51% of all new devices activated over the Christmas holiday were Apple products. Apple stock rose more than 40% this year as the company saw strong sales of its new iPhone, the introduction of Apple Pay, and a slew of new products and services. But Money Morning Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson says investors haven't seen anything yet. Michael says the stock could rise another 27% easily for anyone who gets in right now. Read his Apple stock forecast for 2015 here.
- Shipping Surge: According to Shipmatrix, U.S. shipping giants United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) and FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) delivered 98% of packages on time during the week preceding the Christmas holiday. The news comes at a time that the companies are planning to change their rate structure around package dimensions, a decision that could affect smaller companies and raise rates by as much as 50%.
- Solar Surge: Shares of Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D) rose more than 1.2% this morning on news that the company has purchased a 20-megawatt solar facility in California from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG). Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it's a sign that one of the nation's central players in the future of natural gas exports sees a future in solar energy production.
- Japanese Jolt: In an effort to spur economic activity, the nation of Japan has formally approved corporate tax cuts by 2.5%. The change in policy comes long after the nation attempted several rounds of misguided attempts to spur economic growth. Our Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said back in March 2013 that the country's stimulus efforts would do little to instill confidence in Japan. Now, with higher sales taxes affecting the economy, government leaders have pulled the ripcord to spur corporate investment.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices slumped again on supply glut concerns, and are now down more than 50% since June. This morning, February 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, dipped by 0.1% to hit $53.49 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude, priced in London, jumped slipped 0.1% to hit $57.72 per barrel, which is a 5-1/2-year low.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for an earnings report from Accretive Health Inc. (OTCMKTS: ACHI).
- Economic Calendar: Today's economic calendar features the weekly ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report, the State Street Investor Confidence Index, farm prices from the Economic Research Service, and the S&P Case-Shiller housing index.
Full U.S. Economic Calendar December 30, 2014
- ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
- Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
- State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 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.