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The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) soared Thursday on news the European Central Bank (ECB) has launched a massive QE bond-purchasing program. The U.S. dollar hit an 11-year high against the euro on the news.
Today, investors will continue to celebrate the stimulus plans of the ECB. They'll watch for earnings reports from a number of high-profile American companies.
Meanwhile, the HSBC China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) hit 49.8 in January. This is a small uptick from the final level of 49.6 in December. Unfortunately, the figure suggests that China's manufacturing sector is still contracting (a reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading under 50 signals a decrease in performance).
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:
- Stocks to Watch: Shares of Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) jumped more than 4% in post-market hours after the firm reported better fourth-quarter earnings than expected. The coffee chain experienced strong foot traffic during holiday season 2014. The company also announced late Thursday that it promoted Kevin Johnson to president and COO at the beginning of March. Johnson has been a board member since 2009 and was CEO of Juniper Networks from 2008 to 2013. He will replace 23-year SBUX vet Troy Alstead, who is taking a sabbatical to spend more time with his family. SBUX stock was up more than 4.5% pre-market this morning.
- Cutbacks Set: Shares of Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc. (NYSE: DWA) are down more than 14.5% this morning on news the company will slash 500 jobs and take a $290 million pre-tax charge as its restructures its film operations. The company said it expects to cut at least $30 million in costs in 2015. That figure is expected to expand to nearly $60 million by 2017. DWA is also shaking up management. According to reports, Vice Chairman Lew Coleman will retire, while COO Mark Zoradi and CMO Dawn Taubin will depart this quarter.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices jumped on news that Saudi Arabian King Abdullah passed away yesterday at the age of 90. The king had been battling health issues for an extended time, and his younger brother had taken over leadership duties. His passing will still send tremors through the kingdom, which is the largest member of OPEC, at a time that falling oil prices threaten the nation's budget for social expenses. Today, February 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, increased by nearly 1.1% to hit $46.80 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude, priced in London, jumped about 1.5% to hit $49.28 per barrel.
- CEO Pay Boost: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook's base salary rose to $2 million in 2014, an increase from $1.4 million. Cook's total pay, including his bonus, hit $9.2 million last year. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein received a $1 million raise, with his compensation hitting $24 million. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon's compensation stayed flat at $20 million, according to company regulatory filing.
- The IPO Launch: Online data storage firm Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) has priced its initial public offering at $14 per share, a figure that values the firm at roughly $1.67 billion. BOX raised approximatley $175 million in strong demand for the available 12.5 million shares. The firm surpassed the expected per-share range of $11 to $13. Interest is expected to be high as the firm is an innovator and competitor in the online storage space and is pushing hard to establish itself as a leading player against tech giants Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for an earnings report from Bank of New York (NYSE: BK), General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON), Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB), Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD), and State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar January 23, 2015 (NYSE: all times EST)
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
For more on investing in gold, check out Money Morning Chief Financial Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald's guide on how to buy gold – an in what amount – to accomplish your individual financial goals here…