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Here is your top stock market news today, April 23, 2015, including stock futures, earnings reports, pre-market movers, and stocks to watch...
Stock Futures Today
The DJIA slid 60 points as corporate earnings continue to show the effects of a strong U.S. dollar. The dollar has surged more than 9% year to date and punished companies with a broad international focus and reliance on overseas sales. The Nasdaq moved 19 points higher on news of a proposed biotech merger.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- Flash Crash: Navinder Singh Sarao, suspected of crimes connected to the May 2010 "flash crash," is out on bail and fighting extradition to the United States. Yesterday the high-frequency trader (HFT) based in London was arrested and charged with wire fraud, commodities fraud, and manipulation. This case has the potential to change the future of HFT forever.
- The Day Ahead: Existing home sales hit stock market news this morning. Numbers jumped to the highest level in 18 months. This is positive news for the U.S. economy as the spring and summer selling season begins. Existing home sales roared back to surge 6.1% in March, according to the National Association of Realtors, shattering economist expectations. This was a surprising figure given concerns about domestic supply and suggests the U.S. housing market is finally on solid ground after a near-decade boom-and-bust cycle.
- Oil Prices: Brent oil, priced in London, rose to $63.42 per barrel. WTI crude, priced in New York City, dipped 0.3% to hit $56.37 per barrel. Oil prices are on the rise on news that the Energy Information Administration reported higher weekly inventory levels.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: CAT, GM, EBAY
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, CAT: Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) were up more than 4% this morning on news that the industrial giant beat market earnings expectations. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.86 per share on sales of $12.7 billion. That is a 3.2% decline year over year, but still beat analyst expectations of $1.35 per share on sales of $12.48 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, GM: Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) were down nearly 3% on news that the company reported weaker-than-expected earnings in the March-ending quarter. The firm announced a per-share adjusted earnings report of $0. 86, with revenues of $35.7 billion. Wall Street expected $0.97 on sales of $37.6 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, EBAY: Our Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson has argued the pending spin-off of PayPal by online auction giant eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) has made the latter one of the best stocks to buy now. And the company's earnings report explains why. As it turns out, PayPal's revenue actually exceeded that of the auction site - revenue soared more than 14% to hit $2.1 billion in the first quarter; meanwhile, eBay raked in $2 billion, a 4% drop. The spin-off, which Michael covers right here, will occur in the third quarter of 2015. Shares of eBay were up more than 5% in pre-market hours.
Stocks to Watch Today: CMCSA, GOOG, MSFT, CAT, FB
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, FB: Shares of social media giant Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) were down 1% on news that the company reported slower revenue growth and high research and development costs in its post-market earnings report on Wednesday. The firm reported that its active user count increased by 13% to roughly 1.4 billion, and higher mobile ad revenue as well. FB said investors can expect high R&D costs - and more acquisitions in 2015, a strategy that's made Facebook a more than $231 billion giant...
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, CMCSA: The Federal Communications Commission will recommend the proposed $45.2 billion merger between Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) be sent to an administrative hearing. This means if the deal were to take place it will take significantly longer than previously expected and will raise a number of antitrust issues along the way. On Wednesday, the companies met with the Department of Justice to discuss potential concessions in order to help the deal proceed. Possible solutions include Comcast reducing market share in New York or Los Angeles, or divesting of its stake in the online-streaming firm Hulu. Shares of TWC were down more than 3% in pre-market hours.
- Stocks to Watch: Pre-market earnings: Today, keep an eye out for earnings reports from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) (see our Google earnings preview here), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Hershey (NYSE: HSY), United Continental (NYSE: UAL), Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DOM), and Dunkin Brands (Nasdaq: DNKN).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- New Home Sales 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.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 7-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week:
- Make More Money in the Markets Today with the Single Best Investing Strategy
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.