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For April 14, 2015, here are your stock futures, top market news, earnings reports, pre-market movers, and stocks to watch in the stock market today…
Stock Futures Today
U.S. stock futures for Tuesday, April 14, forecast a 25-point dip from Monday's close. The DJIA slipped 80 points yesterday on investor fear that a stronger U.S. dollar will negatively affect earnings. The Nasdaq traded briefly above 5,000 before falling seven points on the day.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- Today is a busy day of earnings for the financial and technology sectors as investors are focused on the impact of a stronger U.S. dollar on global profits. This is the first day of the quarter that major financial firms will begin to issue earnings reports. Look for earnings announcements from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC). In addition, keep an eye on reports from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), CSX Corp. (NYSE:CSX), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).
- In the United States, key government reports today include producer price data, U.S. market sentiment, and retail sales for the month of March. Investors looking abroad today will want to keep an eye on March wholesale prices in Germany. Meanwhile, both Italy and the United Kingdom will report consumer prices for the month. Finally, Chinese stocks were at a seven-year high as the nation prepared to announce its quarterly GDP.
- The World Trade Organization again slashed its expectations for global trade growth in 2015 and 2016. The global watchdog announced it expects trade growth to increase by 3.3% in 2015 and 4% in 2016. The agency cited sluggish economic growth as its primary factor in cutting its forecast. This isn't the first time the agency has tempered its expectations. In 2014, the WTO said that global trade increased by 2.8%. That is a far lower outcome than its initial 4.7% forecast or the 3.1% it proposed in September 2014.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were on the rise on news that U.S. shale production will post its first monthly decline in four years. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it expects shale production in May to decline to 4.98 million barrels per day. That is a decline of roughly 45,000 barrels from April. Oil prices Brent oil gained 0.3% this morning to hit $58.08 per barrel. WTI crude gained nearly 1.0% to hit $52.39 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: BBY, NOK, ALU, NSC, CSX
- Pre-Market Movers 1, BBY: Shares of Best Buy Inc. (NYSE: BBY) were down marginally in pre-market hours on news that the company's chairman of the board, Hatim Tyabji, plans to retire on June 9. Tyabji served as the chairman for three years. The company's current CEO Hubert Joly plans to assume the chairman this summer.
- Pre-Market Movers 2, NOK, ALU: Shares of tech giant Nokia Corp. (NYSE ADR: NOK) slipped more than 6% this morning on news the company may soon purchase the wireless assets of Alcatel-Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU), according to a report from Bloomberg. Although details have yet to emerge, an agreement could come as soon as this week. Shares of ALU were up more than 4.5% on Monday. The deal is expected to be valued at more than $42 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers 3, NSC: Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) slumped nearly 5.5% this morning on news that the company slashed its quarter earnings expectations to $1 per share. That's a 20% cut below consensus expectations of $1.25. The firm blamed declining coal volumes and a reduction in fuel surcharge revenues. The news dragged down shares of its other competitors like Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) and CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX).
Stocks to Watch Today: AAPL, IBM, PEP, HO, SYMC
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, SYMC: Shares of Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) slumped more than 5.5% yesterday after the company hinted that it plans to sell its Veritas data-storage-and-recovery business. According to reports, the data security giant has been contacting private equity firms to determine how much interest exists for the division. Reports indicate a deal could be valued at more than $8 billion. Symantec purchased Veritas for roughly $13.5 billion in 2005, and its customer base comprises 75% of Fortune 500 companies.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, AAPL, IBM: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were moving on news that Merrill Lynch predicts the tech giant could sell 32 million smart watches in 2016. The news comes on the same day that International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) announced plans to create "Watson Health" unit, which will broaden its data analytics relationship with Apple. According to reports, the new division will offer data services to healthcare companies and user consumer information that is collected by Apple devices.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, PEP: Global beverage giant PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) announced it has completed the sports quadruple and secured it a sponsorship deal it the NBA. This makes the company the official food-and-drink sponsor of all major sports leagues in the United States. The company will replace The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) at basketball games, and expand on its existing relationship with the league over its Gatorade products.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- PPI-Final Demand at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at 9 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks at 8 p.m.
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