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For May 6, 2015, here's how the stock market did today, earnings reports, the top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today's market moves…
How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow: 17,842.18, -86.02, -0.48%
S&P 500: 2,080.17, -9.29, -0.44%
Nasdaq: 4,919.64, -19.68, -0.40%
Why the Market Is Down Today: Stocks slumped this morning after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said there are "dangers" in current U.S. stock valuations.
"I would highlight that equity market valuations at this point generally are quite high," Yellen said. "There are potential dangers there." The report erased pre-market momentum and raised new concerns about the markets at a time when economic data suggests the U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter after years of Fed-induced stimulus and loose monetary policy.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, jumped 7.3% on the day.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Today: In addition to Yellen's remarks, the markets were hit by underwhelming employment and productivity figures. In April, private U.S. employers added 169,000 new workers, the lowest monthly number in more than a year. It was also the fifth consecutive month of declining job creation. Meanwhile, the Labor Department announced that nonfarm productivity slipped in the first quarter. The reason? Harsh weather depressed output levels. This was a critical data input into yesterday's stunning announcement that the U.S. trade deficit for March hit more than $50 billion.
- How Much Is a Barrel of Oil Today: Oil futures are holding up their month-long winning streak amidst geopolitical concerns in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Libya. WTI crude, priced in New York City, gained 0.5% to hit $60.71 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil, priced in London, was flat at $67.57 per barrel.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Thursday, the focus on U.S. employment continues with an update to weekly jobless claims, while companies like Priceline.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN), Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), Monster Beverage Corp. (NYSE: MWW), and NVIDIA Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) announce earnings. On the international front, all eyes will be on the United Kingdom, where a very tight general election could produce a new prime minister.
Stocks to Watch: AAPL, MGI, WU, DIS
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slipped 0.6% for the firm's third-straight daily decline. The stock has retreated from all-time highs reached after its first-quarter earnings report last week.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, MGI: Shares of MoneyGram International Inc. (Nasdaq: MGI) surged 21.4% on rumors that it was a potential takeover target of larger rival The Western Union Co. (NYSE: WU). However, Western Union denied that it is in discussions to purchase the firm. Western Union shares jumped 4.3%.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, DIS: Shares of The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) retreated roughly 1% from near all-time highs this week. With "Avengers: Age of Ultron" tearing up the box office, Disney's Marvel cinematic properties have raked in more than $7.2 billion so far. Our Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson joined FOX Business to discuss Disney's recent surge. Watch the full interview here.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, HLF: Shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) surged 16.4% today after the health marketing giant beat Wall Street expectations by 10%. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.11 a share, well ahead of analysts' per-share estimates of $1.00. The news is a blow to Pershing Square Capital manager and activist investor Bill Ackman, who has long argued the company is a pyramid scheme.
What Investors Must Know This Week
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.