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The Dow Jones recovered from a triple-digit loss Wednesday afternoon to finish down just six points after a choppy trading session.
The energy and the utilities sectors weighed on stocks today, while investors continue to eye negotiations between Greece and its creditors about the country's perilous debt situation.
Our Shah Gilani joined Fox Business' "Varney & Co." today to discuss whether he thinks Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock is still a "Buy" after rising to new all-time highs…
Dow: 17,862.14, -6.62, -0.04%
S&P 500: 2,068.53, -0.06, -0.00%
Nasdaq: 4,801.18, +13.54, +0.28%
What Moved the Markets Today: Investors remain optimistic about a debt deal getting done between Greece and the European Union.
However, the Standard & Poor's 500 Utilities Index pulled back 1.5%, while the energy sector slipped 0.9%. Oil prices declined for the second-consecutive trading session. WTI oil prices fell 1.6% to hit roughly $49.22 per barrel. Brent crude prices fell nearly 2.7% on the day to dip below $55 per barrel.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Soda Surge: Shares of PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) rose more than 2.5% on news the company beat quarterly earnings estimates and announced a large buyback plan. The company reported strong sales at its Frito-Lay snack business. Pepsi said it will buy back approximately $12 billion in stock by 2018, a decision that will appease many activist investors who have been pushing for returns of cash to shareholders. The news comes a day after its rival The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) reported strong quarterly earnings.
- Electric Slide: Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) slipped 1.6% today on news the company's sales division in China may be underperforming. The news comes as a warning ahead of its Q4 earnings report this afternoon. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now in a difficult position. Reports indicate Musk is disappointed with sales in China and is threatening to fire a number of key executives in the country over its expected sales report.
- Forecast Folly: Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) plunged more than 24% this afternoon after the company slashed its 2015 earnings outlook. The company also named Laura A. Coffey as Executive Vice President-Interim Chief Financial Officer. The retailer cut its earnings-per-share outlook for the fiscal year ending in February to a range of $0.80 to $0.83 from a previous estimate of $0.95 to $1.05.
- Dial-Up Dilemma: Shares of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) fell more than 10% today after the company missed analyst revenue estimates for Q4 and offered a weak 2015 earnings forecast. The company still reported stronger than expected earnings, but concerns about the company's advertising model and falling subscription figures took their toll this afternoon.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) hit another all-time high today, gaining more than 2.3%. Apple stock got a boost after JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) raised its price target today from $140 to $145. Apple is now the first $700 billion company after its share surge.
- Merger Mania: Shares of Rite Aid Corp.(NYSE: RAD) rose 6.6% after the drug-store chain announced plans to purchase pharmacy benefits manager Envision Pharmaceutical for roughly $2 billion from private investment firm TPG. The deal will allow Rite Aid to better compete against rivals like CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NYSE: WAG) in the rapidly changing pharmaceutical industry.
Legal insider buying is a well-known "Buy" signal for a stock. That's because nobody is closer to a company's most up-to-date financial results and forecasts than its own officers and board members.
But there's a proxy for insider buying that can be just as useful.
Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon dubs the second group "knowledgeable outsiders." These include certain hedge funds and private equity players. Also in this group are investing icons like Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, and George Soros.
So why should investors pay attention to what the "smart money" is doing?
Says Patalon, "Smart-money players like Buffett, Soros, and Icahn are a separate set from the rest of the Wall Street rabble. They're independent thinkers and often make moves so 'contrary' to the prevailing thinking that the masses label them as crazy."
These "crazy" moves can be tough to make. That's why the masses are busy running in the opposite direction.
But they can also put you on the path to some outsized profits of your own.
Patalon just shared a brand-new move by a smart-money private-equity player that makes a bold statement about a Contrarian profit opportunity. Get his pick right here…