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Pre-market quotes forecasted a sharp 150-point decline from yesterday's Dow close (Monday) as increased pressures from falling energy prices smothered Dow futures. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138 points on M&A activity and rising energy shares. Yesterday's big gain comes after Friday's slump that saw a 300-point drop in the Dow Jones in afternoon trading and the S&P 500's worst decline in two months.
This morning, pre-market quotes indicate that investors are keeping a close eye on falling crude prices and an important JOLTS report that can offer additional perspective on the fragile U.S. jobs market.
Investors will also want to watch a number of key earnings reports that will affect the Dow Jones today. The most important is Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), which separated its retail and Nook device operations last year. Additional earnings reports include Weibo Corp. (NYSE: WB), Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM), FuelCell Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY), and Emerald Oil Inc. (NYSE: EOX).
Here are some of today's pre-market movers and what you should know about the stock market today – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" – to make it a profitable Tuesday:
- Daily Deal: Shares of microblogging site Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR) dipped 0.4% in pre-market hours after the firm announced the purchase of live-video streaming startup Periscope. The deal registered at roughly $100 million in cash, will allow users to broadcast live video from their phones once the media startup completes beta-testing.
- Activist Investors: Activist hedge fund Starboard has sent another letter to the board of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) demanding that the company do more to boost shareholder value. Though the hedge fund was pleased with the firm's decision to spin off its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) as a tracking stock, the activist investor believes the tech giant can boost value by slashing its cost structure, monetizing its IP and real estate holdings, and spinning off its stake in Yahoo Japan in a tax-efficient manner.
- Oil Prices Today: Crude prices continued to slip on oversupply concerns and prolonged weakness in the European economic block. Brent crude, priced in London, added another 0.8% to hit $61.50 per barrel. Meanwhile, April 2015 futures for U.S. crude, priced at the NYMEX in New York City, jumped nearly 0.2% to hit $51.17 per barrel. The latter price decline comes a day after Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) released a research note saying it expected U.S. crude to fall to roughly $40 per barrel.
- New Appointment: Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE: CS) has appointed Tidjane Thiam, group chief executive of U.K.-insurer Prudential, as its new CEO. Thiam is a top-tier executive, who helped his former company's stock rise more than 150% during his six-year tenure. The appointment comes at a difficult time for the Swiss financial institution. In February, the bank announced plans for steep cuts in the wake of the earth-shifting decision by the Swiss central bank to remove its cap between the franc and the euro. The firm also agreed to cut staff bonuses and pay more than $2.5 billion in fines for helping wealthy Americans evade income taxes.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slipped 0.75% in pre-market hours a day after the company announced the release date of the Apple Watch. According to reports, the Apple Watch sport will start at a base price of $349. Meanwhile, its high-end model, which is for sale on April 24, will start at $10,000. This represents the company's first new product launch in roughly five years as it continues to extend its reach into the mobile sector. But the real story today behind the Apple Watch is its influence on the gold prices in 2015. In fact, our Peter Krauth expects the Watch to be the biggest catalyst for the yellow metal this year.
Full U.S. Economic Calendar March 10, 2015
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at Bullet at 9 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- Wholesale Trade at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 3-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
There are six "Unstoppable Trends" backed by trillions of dollars – and investing in companies that tap into these trends will pay off huge.
Energy: Analysts almost universally hate the energy sector. But it's showing every sign of approaching the point of "maximum pessimism" – and that should quicken your pulse as an investor. Demand for oil is accelerating, and oil prices are set to rebound even as supply steadily increases.
Demographics: For the first time in history, the number of people aged 65 and older will outnumber children younger than five years old worldwide by 2020. This will mean surging profits for medical companies like Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX).
Medicine: Healthcare spending in the United States jumped 3.6% in 2014. This was due in large part to Obamacare's implementation and a related surge in Medicaid expenditures. New politically driven "mandates" will create guaranteed market shares for favored companies.
War, Terrorism, and Ugliness: The U.S. Department of Defense has requested a budget for fiscal year 2016 that increases spending by 7.7% to $585 billion. The defense sector will benefit greatly as governments gear up to defend against new and emerging threats. Defense companies like Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) will flourish.
For the last two trends, plus more info on the massive wealth all six will create, go here: These Unstoppable Trends Are Creating Ever-Stronger Profit Opportunities