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For April 20, 2015, here are your DJIA futures, top market news, earnings reports, pre-market movers, and stocks to watch in the stock market today…
Stock Futures Today
The DJIA Index fell 279 points on Friday as currency challenges and economic concerns in China and Europe rattled investors. This morning, China's central bank boosted lending power in its financial sector after announcing plans to slash banks' reserve requirements. It will be another intensive week of earnings reports as investors await the effects of winter weather and a stronger U.S. dollar during the first quarter.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- On the international front, investors will watch German production price index levels for March. Analysts expect commodity input levels will remain weak compared to recent averages. Meanwhile, a critical meeting is on tap this Friday between Eurozone financial ministers and leaders of Greece to discuss the nation's pending debt payment. They'll also discuss whether Greece will be able to meet its ongoing obligations.
- Over the weekend, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said the nation faces bigger problems than the triple-hammer of crashing oil prices, wild currency swings, and crippling Western sanctions. Dvorkovich said the biggest problem facing the nation was its lack of financing for new state investments. Russia's economy grew by just 0.6% last year, and falling oil prices are expected to push the nation into a recession in 2015.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were back on the rise this morning on news that the Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) rig count fell again last week, and news that China was preparing for additional stimulus measures. The U.S. rig count fell for the 19th straight week and hit its lowest level since 2010. 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: IBM, PLD, RTN
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1: IBM: Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) were down 1% in pre-market hours as the company prepares to report first-quarter earnings. The IBM stock price took a hit last week after Wall Street's bearish analysts doubled down on their less than optimistic assessments of Big Blue. So what is holding down IBM's stock price ahead of quarterly earnings? Here's our analysis of IBM stock and why the company must undergo a turnaround in the years ahead.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2: PLD: Shares of Prologis Inc. (NYSE: PLD) were down in pre-market hours on news the company will purchase the real estate assets and platform of KTR Capital Partners for $5.9 billion. The deal will include roughly $700 million in secured mortgage debt.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3: RTN: Shares of Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) were down more than 1% in pre-market hours on news that it will purchase Websense from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for $1.9 billion.
Stocks to Watch Today: MS, GOOG, DAL, RCL, HAL
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, MS: Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) are in focus today. The investment bank will report first-quarter earnings a few days after its rivals Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) reported strong revenues. The report puts new CEO James Gorman in the spotlight, especially on news that the company is looking to settle an investigation by the NY attorney general over charges the company allegedly misled investors over value-losing mortgage bonds during the recent financial crisis. The company is projected to report first-quarter earnings of $0.78 per share.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, GOOG: Reports indicate that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) just received a huge boost in confidence for its payment services. According to Yahoo Finance, money that is kept in Google Wallet accounts will now be FDIC-insured, meaning customers' money will be much safer. The news should reduce anxiety over potential hacking attacks or banking failures. Google will report earnings this week, along with its tech rivals Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, DAL: This week will center much attention on the impact of both the rising dollar and falling oil prices on international airline companies. But investors will be keeping a very close eye on Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL) after the company just announced plans to slash international flights thanks to pressures from the dollar. Investors will also be watching American Airlines Group (Nasdaq: AAL) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) ahead of earnings this week.
- Stocks to Watch: Premarket earnings: Today, keep an eye out for earnings reports from SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), M&T Bank Corp (NYSE: MTB), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 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.
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