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Good morning! For April 30, 2015, here are your stock futures, top market news, and the biggest stocks to watch today …
Stock Futures Today
U.S. stock futures forecasted a 25-point decline from Wednesday's close. The markets are reacting to shifts in the U.S. dollar and to the Federal Reserve's statements that it will raise interest rates on a meeting-by-meeting basis.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- Fed Watch: The Federal Reserve completed its two-day meeting, and stated that it will continue to take a wait-and-see approach to raising interest rates. "To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress – both realized and expected – toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation," the FOMC statement read. But here's what the Fed's not telling you…
- Jobs Improvement: Unemployment benefit claims slipped last week to their lowest level since 2000, a figure that suggests last month's jobs report indicated improved job growth. For the week ending April 25, benefits fell by 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 262,000. This was the lowest since April 2000.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices continue to rise, hitting a five-month high, as the U.S. dollar continues to slide. Brent oil, priced in London, gained 0.4% this morning to hit $66.13 per barrel. WTI crude, priced in New York City, gained nearly 0.8% to hit $59.07 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: AAPL, GLUU, YELP
Pre-Market Movers 1, AAPL: Apple stock (Nasdaq: AAPL) fell nearly 1% this morning on news early owners of the new Apple Watch have complained their tattoos are interrupting key functions of the new tech gadget. The stock hit an all-time high after reporting earnings on Monday, but the stock has steadily retreated since.
Pre-Market Movers 2, GLUU: Shares Glu Mobile Inc. (Nasdaq: GLUU) surged more than 21% on news it has agreed to sell a 14.6 stake to Chinese social networking giant Tencent Holdings ADR (OTCMKTS: TCEHY).
Pre-Market Movers 3, YELP: Shares Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) fell more than 17% on news the company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings. The firm reported weak first-quarter figures and cut its sales forecast for the second quarter. Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral.
Stocks to Watch Today: BIDU, CRM, XOM
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, BIDU: Shares of Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) cratered 4% this morning on news of the weakest quarterly revenue figures in seven years. The figures are unsurprising given the economic problems that continue to affect China's economy. Baidu's underperformance could be an indicator of a broader problem for the Chinese e-commerce industry and broader economy at large.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, CRM: Shares of Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) were down roughly 1.5% despite reports it could be a takeover target for a private equity firm or rival.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, XOM: Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) were flat this morning despite news the multinational energy giant posted a 46% drop in first-quarter profit. The report, however, beat expectations. Exxon said its bottom line figures were still hurt by the sharp drop in oil prices.
- Stocks to Watch, Pre-Market Earnings: Today, keep an eye out for earnings reports from Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: CCE), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Employment Cost Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Daniel Tarullo Speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) Headed for $1 Trillion Market Cap
- Why the OPEC Oil Cartel Is Losing the Energy War
- How to Make More Money in the Markets Starting Today
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.