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For May 8, 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: 18,191.11, +267.05, +1.49%
S&P 500: 2,116.10, +28.10, +1.35%
Nasdaq: 5,003.55, +58.00, +1.17%
Why the Market Is Up Today: The DJIA Index surged 267 points as a strong April jobs report suggests the U.S. economy is gaining steam. The news could press the U.S. Federal Reserve to provide a clearer timeline for when it will raise interest rates.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market’s fear gauge, plunged 14.7%.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Recap: The markets soared after the U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 228,000 jobs and the unemployment rate hit 5.4% in April. Economists had expected an increase of 224,000 last month after the jump of just 126,000 in March. The unemployment rate is now at a seven-year low (May 2008), which could push the Federal Reserve to its first interest rate hike since 2006. The U.S. labor participation rate is still a worrisome 62.8%. Also troubling: the 68% increase in job layoffs in April…
- International, In Focus: In the United Kingdom, David Cameron will remain the prime minister and the Conservatives won 326 seats, giving the party a narrow majority. Meanwhile, support for the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement received a boost after Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) pledged to create up to 10,000 U.S.-based manufacturing jobs should the deal receive approval.
- On Tap Monday: Next week, a light week of data follows Friday’s jobs report, while investors turn their attention back to Greece and its ongoing debt woes. On Monday, investors will also keep an eye on earnings reports from Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX), Actavis Inc. (NYSE: ACT), Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF), and Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP).
Stocks to Watch: AAPL, SBUX, SYN, WMT, AOL, MCD
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) jumped 1.86% as the company approaches its ex-dividend date on May 14. The company will disperse roughly $2.7 billion to shareholders of record. The May dividend payment will be the fourth of its kind since Apple announced a seven-for-one stock split. During its April 27 earnings call, the company said it will hike its quarterly dividend from $0.47 to $0.52.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, SBUX: Coffee giant Starbucks Inc. (Nasdaq: SBUX) announced it will no longer source Ethos Water from its California production facility following criticism at a time when the state is under severe drought. The company will shift its production to a facility in Pennsylvania and seek a new supplier on the West Coast to meet demand from its distribution channels. Starbucks has owned Ethos Water since 2005. Shares of SBUX were up 0.87% on the day.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, SYN: Shares of Syngenta AG (NYSE ADR: SYT) surged more than 11% on news it received and rejected a $45 billion initial takeover bid from rival agricultural giant Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON). Shares of Monsanto jumped 1.39% on the day. Any deal between the two giants would certainly face anti-trust scrutiny, and a deal will renew concerns over GMOs and the global food supply.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, WMT: Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) were up more than 1.4% intraday on news that the global retail giant planned to purchase roughly $136 million in retail and distribution space in Canada from rival Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT). News of a possible deal comes a few months after Target announced plans to depart the Canadian market. TGT shares were up 0.79% on the day.
- Stocks to Watch No. 5, AOL: Shares of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) surged 10.23% on news that the tech firm reported better than expected first-quarter profits and sales. The firm reported per-share earnings of $0.34, in line with consensus analyst expectations.
- Stocks to Watch No. 6, MCD: Shares of McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) were up 1.5% despite the company’s announcement that its April sales slipped 0.6%. Investors have been underwhelmed by the company’s turnaround plans, which include a large-scale restructuring of its international operations and plans to increase the sale of locations to franchise operators. McDonald’s is attempting to slash roughly $300 million in annual costs.