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For April 9, 2015, here are your stock futures, pre-market movers, stocks to watch, and top stock market news today…
Stock Futures Today
U.S. stock futures for Thursday, April 9, forecasted a 4-point gain from yesterday's close. The DJIA Index added 27 points on Wednesday following a busy day of earnings reports and the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in March.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Investors today should keep an eye on employment markets in the U.S. This morning, the Commerce Department reported weekly jobless benefits. The total number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits increased by 14,000 to 281,000 for the week ending April 4.
- On the international front, Germany will report its final industrial and trade production reports for the month of February. The Bank of England announced its monthly rate decision this morning.
- Markets were volatile yesterday after the release of the March FOMC meeting minutes. The minutes revealed divergence between members of the central bank. Several stated the central bank should ignore the weak March employment report and still raise rates in June, while others cited recent strength in the U.S. dollar as a reason to delay a hike. Any action to raise interest rates would be the first of its kind in six years.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices are clawing back from a price slump propelled by a surge in inventories in the U.S. Brent oil, priced in London, gained 2.4% to $56.89 per barrel. WTI crude, priced in New York City, added nearly 1.8% to hit $51.34 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: ZNGA, NVGN, AA
- Pre-Market Mover No. 1, ZNGA: Shares of mobile game developer Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) slipped more than 10.6% this morning on news that CEO Don Mattrick is stepping down. The decision will put founder Mark Pincus back in charge. The developer of popular games like "Farmville" and "Words With Friends" has struggled immensely in recent years. Pincus said the company must redirect its focus on mobile data and analytics.
- Pre-Market Mover No. 2, NVGN: Shares of Novogen Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: NVGN) soared more than 41% this morning after the company reported its second positive drug trial. The experimental drug, Anisina, "killed melanoma cells irrespective of their mutational status." This is a significant finding for melanoma patients, one the company called "imperative." Just last week, Novogen announced that its experimental anti-cancer drug, Cantrixil, successfully killed human ovarian stem cells.
- Pre-Market Mover No. 3, AA: Shares of Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) slipped more than 2.5% this morning after kicking off earnings season. The stock announced first-quarter adjusted per-share earnings of $0.28, besting expectations by $0.02. Despite the positive earnings report, the company reported weaker-than-expected revenues. Company CEO Klaus Kleinfeld announced growth over the last year has been entirely organic.
Stocks to Watch Today: GOOG, LNKD, RDS.A
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, GOOG: Online tech giant Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) grabbed headlines in stock market news today after it announced, via a YouTube video, that it will offer users of the video site to a monthly subscription service to remove advertising. In addition, the company is planning on releasing "YouTube Video Key," a monthly music streaming subscription service that will rival other firms like Spotify and Pandora. The ad-free version of YouTube is expected to run at roughly $10 per month. GOOG stock was up slightly 0.17% this morning.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, LNKD: Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (Nasdaq: LNKD) were on the rise this morning after the company announced plans to purchase online business learning company Lynda.com in a deal worth $1.5 billion. Lynda creates premium video content that allows users to develop business skills and accelerate their careers.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, RDS, BRGYY: The largest energy deal in at least a decade was announced this week. Yesterday, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE ADR: RDS.A) announced plans to purchase rival BG Group Plc. (OTCMKTS ADR: BRGYY) for 47 billion pounds ($70.2 billion). The news sent BG Group shares soaring, but Shell investors are raising concerns that the company paid too much for its rival.
- Stocks to Watch, Earnings Roundup: Investors can expect earnings reports today from AngioDynamics Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGO), Ceres Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE), PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT), Ruby Tuesday Inc. (Nasdaq: RT), and Synergy Resources Corp. (NYSE: SYRG).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Wholesale Trade at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Yr Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
Money Morning Tip of the Day: The only thing standing between your portfolio and catastrophic loss is your own caution and proper risk management.
Today's tip comes from Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald:
Risk management may not be the most exciting part of investing. But it is the most important.
And a tool called "position sizing" stands out above all others as the most powerful, and not just for cutting risk either, but for boosting your profits, too.
The concept is simple. Controlling the amount of money you place in each trade can lead to bigger profits and mitigate the risk of a catastrophic loss.
Position sizing is the science of cutting risk in your portfolio down to the bone. It answers the question "How big should I make my position for any one trade?"
Many investors think they have this covered with trailing stops that take them out of an investment when some predetermined limit is hit.
Position sizing is different. It's about determining how much of something you can buy for maximum profits, or even if you can afford to buy in the first place.
Understanding position sizing will put you miles ahead of other investors who spend all their time wondering what to buy while ignoring the critical question of how much to buy.
To learn three different methods for sizing your positions, with step-by-step instructions for each, go here: This One Risk Management Tool Made the Difference Between Bankruptcy and $13 Million