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Stock Futures Today
The Nasdaq Composite Index struck a new high Thursday, beating the previous record set more than 15 years ago during the dot-com bubble. The S&P 500 hit a new intraday high but failed to beat its previous record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 20 points yesterday.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- Greek Drama: Headlining stock market news today is a Eurozone summit in Latvia. The European markets were on the rise ahead of talks between Eurozone financial ministers that have gathered to discuss the Greek debt crisis. Greece is quickly running out of cash and requires a final tranche of bailout cash to fulfill its debt obligations. For a breakdown on exactly how much Greece owes, check our guide here…
- Deal Doubts: It's a tale of two diverging deals in the markets today. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is on the verge of dropping its $45.2 billion takeover bid of cable giant Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). Regulators at the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission have both argued the deal could negatively affect American consumers. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T Inc.'s (NYSE: T) $49 billion bid for DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is moving forward and has caused fewer concerns for agencies overseeing the deal approval process.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices are back in focus this afternoon as Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) plans to announce the domestic oil rig count. Brent oil, priced in London, rose to $63.42 per barrel. WTI crude, priced in New York City, dipped 0.3% on to hit $56.37 per barrel. Oil prices are on the rise on news that the Energy Information Administration reported higher weekly inventory levels. Oil prices closed at a 2015 high on Thursday.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today:
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, AAPL: The Apple Watch officially goes on sale today, and some analysts are extremely bullish on the role the gadget could play in its broader portfolio. The company said that it plans to ship at least 20 million units of the watch in 2015. Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) topped $130 in pre-market hours. Yesterday, analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reaffirmed their target price of $160 per share and said they anticipate the company will shipp more than 55.5 million iPhones over the March-ending quarter.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, AZN: Shares of AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE ADR: AZN) slipped more than 3.2% this morning on news sales slipped by 6% in Q1. The company cited new competition from Nexium generics, and of course, the strength of the U.S. dollar. The stronger greenback continues to affect earnings reports of companies that rely on foreign markets for the bulk of their profits. This morning, Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) slipped 4.5% on similar impacts by the dollar.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, AMZN: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) surged more than 12.5% this morning on yesterday's news that its Web services business generated revenues of $1.57 billion in the March-ending quarter. The company did report an in-line quarterly loss; however, the firm did beat analyst expectations. Yesterday, JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) upgraded Amazon's price target from $375 to $535.
Stocks to Watch Today:
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, FB: Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and Nasdaq OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ) are in focus this morning. News broke today that Nasdaq will pay the social networking giant $26.5 million to settle a lawsuit dating back to FB's bungled initial public offering (IPO). According to the lawsuit, the Nasdaq violated federal and state laws by failing to disclose technological weaknesses in its IPO systems.
- Stocks to Watch Nos. 2 and 3, FOSL, MOV: Shares of Fossil Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FOSL) and Movado Group Inc. (NYSE: MOV) were both up marginally this morning, but analysts are growing concerned about the two companies' futures. Analysts project that the Apple Watch could take up to half of the $200-plus watch market.
- Stocks to Watch, Pre-market earnings: Today, keep an eye out for earnings reports from Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE: B), Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB), American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG), Westmoreland Coal Co. (NYSE: WLB), Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG), and AstraZeneca Plc.(NYSE ADR: AZN).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.