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Good Morning! U.S. stock futures for Monday, March 30, forecasted a 10-point retreat from Friday's close. The DJIA index added 33 points Friday to end a four-day losing streak. The cause? Biotech and healthcare stocks rebounded to pull markets upward as investors search for value after this week's sell-offs.
What to Watch Today: The Atlanta Federal Reserve conference kicks off, and the central bank will again be in focus. On Friday, Janet Yellen said the bank will tighten monetary policy. However, given that markets have been used to zero-interest rates for seven years, the markets will require a long process with few surprises along the way. In addition, the Fed will continue to monitor the progress of the U.S. economy. That begins today with personal consumption data for the month of February.
Investors will also look abroad to Japan where the nation will report February industrial production data. Last week, the country reported uninspiring consumer spending and inflation data. Meanwhile, the Eurozone will release a slew of data that includes the all-important German consumer price update.
Here's what else you should know about the DJIA index – including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" – to make it a profitable Monday:
- Rate Repeat: Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) announced it plans to close some stores and consolidate its operations in Canada. The firm said over the weekend that doing so will impact its 2015 earnings, slash 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs, and cost the firm at least $200 million.
- Merger Mania: Technology giant Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) may soon purchase Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR) in what would be the largest takeover in the chip-making giant's history. Altera has a market capitalization of $10.4 billion, and its shares jumped more than 28% in the final hour of trading on Friday.
- Deal Day: Shares of Catamaran (Nasdaq: CTRX), a pharmacy benefits company, jumped more than 26% on news that UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) plans to purchase the firm for $12.8 billion. Meanwhile, shares of Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ASPX) jumped more than 41% in pre-market hours on news it would be purchased by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Nasdaq: TEVA) for roughly $3.2 billion.
- Oil Prices Today: Crude oil prices continue to slide on news the U.S. and Iran are working on a nuclear deal. Brent oil fell 0.4% to $56.16 per barrel. WTI crude slipped nearly 0.7% to hover just above $48.50 per barrel.
- Earnings Reports: Investors can expect earnings reports today from AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR), Bankrate Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE), Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: CALM), and Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. (OTC: SOGC).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar March 30, 2015
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Pending Home Sales Index at 10 a.m.
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks to the Atlanta Fed conference on monetary and financial stability at 7:15 p.m.
Solid long-term stocks are an essential part of a well-balanced portfolio. They let you collect gains steadily for five, 10, or 20 years while you focus on finding other investments and opportunities.
You can check in with them every quarter and see if anything has changed or adjust your holdings if your investment priorities are different. But for the most part, they are low maintenance, low risk, and high reward.
One of the best long-term stocks to buy on the market today is Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA).
BABA has dipped nearly 20% in 2015. Wall Street panicked after Alibaba's last earnings report because it missed analyst expectations of $4.45 billion in revenue. But Alibaba's reported revenue of $4.2 billion represented a yearly increase of 40%.
Alibaba's growth numbers are rock-solid. Earnings increased 80% last quarter. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) was up 49%. Total mobile users were up 95%.
The company's mobile base is growing, too. It hit 265 million monthly active users last quarter. That's a yearly increase of 95% and a quarterly increase of 22%.
BABA is such a good long-term buy, especially at its current price, that Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon suggests adding to your position every time the stock comes down.
"Alibaba is a stock that you have to be willing to hold for a long time," Patalon said. "You don't just load up the truck with Alibaba stock and pray. You buy in and add to your position when there are pullbacks. This is a stock you want to hold for 10 to 15 years."
To get two more quality stocks to pick up now and hold for the long haul, check out: Best Long-Term Stocks to Buy Now