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April 21, 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
Dow futures for Tuesday, April 21, forecasted a 69-point increase from Monday's Dow close. Today, a light economic calendar shed even greater spotlight on a very busy day of earnings reports. Oil prices will also take center stage as May futures contracts expire this afternoon.
The DJIA Index rose 208 points Monday. The rally was fueled by better-than-expected earnings reports and news that China slashed commercial bank reserve requirements by 1%. In its second industry-wide cut in two months to this metric, the nation has freed up roughly $200 billion for lending in an effort to stave off slowing economic growth.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- Raising Rates: On Monday, William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, attempted to reduce investor worries over mixed earnings reports and the potential effects of a pending rate increase in 2015. Dudley said economic performance will be the primary factor in determining when the Federal Reserve will raise rates.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were sluggish in early trading this morning despite increased concerns over the possibility of a full-blown civil war in Yemen. Traders are concerned that conflict in the region could reduce the ability for crude tankers to pass through the Red Sea and other waterways surrounding the country. The United States has sent an aircraft carrier to the region. Brent oil, priced in London, slipped 0.4% this morning to hit $63.20 per barrel. WTI crude, priced in New York City, fell 0.2% to hit $57.77 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: DD
- Pre-Market Movers 1, DD: Shares of DuPont Co. (NYSE: DD) were up 0.3% as the key Dow component reported quarterly earnings this morning. The company has been engaged in a proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz for several months and was expected to report weak earnings thanks to a stronger dollar and lower agricultural business. However, the company reported per-share earnings of $1.34, which topped consensus expectations by roughly $0.03. Peltz has pressed for a breakup of the company and wants four board seats at the 212-year-old industrial giant.
- Pre-Market Movers 2, UA: Shares of Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) slipped more than 2.8% in pre-market hours on news that the company's earnings slipped 13% in its March quarter. The company cited higher costs from acquisitions and an adverse impact of the U.S. dollar. The company did raise its revenue outlook from $3.76 billion to $3.78 billion. However, this is lower than analysts projected, as consensus estimates called for an increase to $3.82 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers 3, HRL: Shares of Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) slipped nearly 1% this morning after the company reported disruptions in its food supply chain due to avian bird flu. The firm reported that avian flu outbreaks in Minnesota and Wisconsin could marginally impact its 2015 earnings outlook. Hormel will continue to support its current range outlook; however, the firm said it expects its earnings to fall in the lower end of its projected range.
Stocks to Watch Today: IBM
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, IBM: Shares of International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) were down 0.7% in pre-market hours after the company reported its 12th consecutive drop in quarterly revenues after the bell on Monday. The company is in the process of a turnaround, shedding unprofitable businesses in favor of the high-growth market of cloud-computing. Despite the bad earnings report, it still exceeded underwhelming expectations, which kept losses muted in pre-market hours.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, GOOG: The Internet is aflame on news that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) is prepared to overhaul its mobile search algorithm this afternoon to favor more "mobile friendly" search results. In what is being called "Mobilegeddon," the company's algorithms will rank sites that are "mobile friendly" higher in search rankings than sites that do not have certain functionalities. That could drastically affect the companies that have long focused on developing a specific ranking for search terms and content.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, CMCSA: Cable giant Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) will meet with the U.S. Justice Department Wednesday in an effort to save the companies' proposed $45.2 billion merger. Last week, members of the legal agency said they are likely to issue a recommendation against the deal next week, stating that the deal does not favor consumers. Now, the companies are trying to save the deal by offering new concessions.
- Stocks to Watch, Pre-market Earnings: Today, keep an eye out for earnings reports from Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Verizon Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: VZ), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA), Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), Illumina Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN), Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC), Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG), DuPont Co. (NYSE: DD), Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG), Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI), Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN), and Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
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