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Good morning! For Friday, May 1, here are your stock futures, pre-market movers, earnings reports, stocks to watch, and top market news in the stock market today…
Stock Futures Today
The DJIA Index lost 195 points Thursday, fueled by disappointing economic data and earnings reports.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: May has finally arrived – the month when some traders follow the "sell in May and go away" strategy. The old adage is based on lower summer trading volumes, although there are many flaws in this philosophy. U.S. stock index futures were up this morning ahead of important construction, manufacturing, and auto sales data. Investors are looking for any positive sign after Wednesday's dismal announcement that the U.S. economy grew by only 0.2% in Q1.
- International Focus: According to reports, Brazil's central bank announced plans to hike its benchmark interest rate from 12.75% to 13.25%. The nation's central bank said it anticipates inflation – a unanimous outlook among its ministers. Brazil's economy continues to struggle, and a contraction is expected in 2015. The nation might increase interest rates again during its June meeting.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil trading was thin this morning as many major markets are closed for the May Day holiday. Brent oil, priced in London, slipped 0.1% this morning to hit $59.49 per barrel. WTI crude, priced in New York City, dipped 0.8% to hit $66.24 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: LNKD, ALTR, INTC
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, LNKD: Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (Nasdaq: LNKD) cratered more than 20% in premarket hours. The business social media company beat earnings estimates by a penny and reported an adjusted per-share quarterly profit of $0.57. However, the firm slashed its full-year outlook and said its hiring business is struggling at the moment.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, ALTR: Shares of chipmaker Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR) were up more than 5.8% this morning on news the company signed a standstill agreement with rival Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) at the beginning of the year. However, the agreement is set to expire on June 1, which would allow Intel to launch a hostile bid for the company. Just last month, Altera rejected an unsolicited takeover offer.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, V: Shares of Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) were down roughly 1% this morning. The Dow component announced a weaker than expected profit forecast for the current quarter. The company said a stronger U.S. dollar continues to eat into its international profits.
Stocks to Watch Today: AAPL, TSLA, BRK-A
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were up nearly 0.5% this morning, despite news that several key components in the Apple Watch are defective. Reports indicate the Watch's heart-rate monitor may not work on darker skin or tattoos. Despite the concerns, the stock has received a number of bullish new price targets from analysts around the globe.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, TSLA: Shares of Tesla Motors Co. (Nasdaq: TSLA) were up more than 1% this morning on news it's expanding into the home battery business. On Thursday night, the company announced two new battery systems, the Powerwall Home Battery and the Powerpack. Both are expected to work in tandem with solar power. The products could mean AC and electricity during blackouts, lower electric bills, and more.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, BRK-A: Who could replace Warren Buffett? We could find out this weekend at Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK.A) annual shareholder meeting that begins in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday. The company will report earnings today and host roughly 40,000 investors at what has been dubbed "Woodstock for Capitalists." There is much speculation that the 84-year-old Buffett, who has run the firm for 50 years, is poised to name a successor at some point in the near future. That could come as soon as this weekend.
- Stocks to Watch: Premarket earnings: Today, keep an eye out for earnings reports from CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK.A), Clorox Corp. (NYSE: CLX), Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE: BPL), Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), and Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank Loretta Mester speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 p.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 p.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 p.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at 3:25 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.