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Stock market news today, March 13, 2015: Good morning! U.S. stock futures forecasted a 30-point decrease from yesterday's close. The DJIA Index surged 259 points Thursday, gaining back most of Tuesday's losses. Nine of the S&P 500's 10 indexes were on the rise, with the energy sector the lone decliner.
Today will be a quiet day on the earnings front, while investors focus on a fresh consumer sentiment report. Just a handful of big names will report earnings, including ANN Inc. (NYSE: ANN), Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE), TravelCenters of America LLC (NYSE: TA), and Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB).
On the international front, keep an eye on Greece. The nation's Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras will meet with European Parliament President Martin Schulz and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The country is supposed to pay back 340 million euros ($360 million) of its International Monetary Fund loan today.
Here's what else you should know in stock market news today – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day":
- Activist Woes: Shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) were up more than 4.3% on news the FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating activist investor Bill Ackman and a number of his associates over possible manipulation of the company's stock. For several years, Ackman has charged Herbalife of operating a Pyramid Scheme, with several investor presentations specifically targeting the firm's marketing programs. At issue is whether Ackman intentionally made false statements to affect HLF shares. In addition, Ackman has very publicly shorted the company's stock. During an interview with CNBC Wednesday, Ackman said that he hasn't discussed the case with any public agency.
- Oil Prices Today: WTI crude oil prices plummeted more than 2% this morning, returning to yearly lows. News that the Energy Information Administration forecasted a worsening glut in the domestic energy market played into the decline. With no sign of slowing down, U.S. production continues to fuel falling prices.
- Tech Troubles: Shares of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) were down marginally this morning on news the tech giant will not be aggressively competing in the Internet domain space. This morning, the New York Post noted that soon-to-be public GoDaddy was not threatened by Google, news that fueled increased optimism for the upcoming IPO.
- Dividend Boom: Want to own dividend stocks? Look to the financial sector. After yesterday's stress test by the Federal Reserve, the central bank allowed seven banks to raise their dividends and boost capital returns to investors. Now, the financial sector is the strongest source of dividends, paying 15.1% of all yield on the S&P 500.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Shares of the second-largest bank in Germany, Commerzbank AG (ADR OTCMKTS: CRZBY), were flat this morning despite news that the firm will pay roughly $1.5 billion in fines and fire several employees over charges it violated U.S. economic sanctions. According to eight U.S. regulators, the bank helped process Iranian funds, which is against the law.
Full U.S. Economic Calendar March 13, 2015 (NYSE: all times EST)
- PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
Money Morning Tip of the Day: European Central Bank monetary policy and a falling euro are flashing a strong "Buy" signal for these investments.
The European Central Bank's QE program began Monday, March 9. It will flood the Eurozone economy with 60 billion euros ($66.1 billion) a month in government debt and asset purchases.
These policies will keep downward pressure on the euro. The Eurozone kicked the Greek debt crisis issue four months down the road when it extended its current bailout program. This looming threat of a Greek exit from the euro will smother the currency even more.
But it's also providing strong "Buy" signals for three investments in particular:
- ProShares UltraShort Euro ETF (NYSE Arca: EUO): This exchange-traded fund aims to generate twice the inverse daily returns of the dollar price of the euro. The euro hit a fresh 12-year low against the U.S. dollar early Thursday morning, slumping below $1.05. But it has further to fall. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald believes the euro could fall to $0.90 by early 2016 due to the scope of Eurozone QE.
- Dice Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DHX): Eurozone QE will boost certain sectors, like healthcare, tech, energy, and defense. But there's currently a shortage of highly trained, highly skilled people needed to staff the very jobs in these industries that are going to pull the Eurozone out of its economic struggles. That's where Dice Holdings comes in. It helps connect highly skilled workers in North America and Europe with employers in these sectors. And the smart money is betting on it – institutional investors own 80% of DHX stock.
To get the third investment to profit from the European Central Bank's money printing, check out 3 Ways to Play the European Central Bank Easy Money Madness…
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.