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May 12, 2015, here are your stock futures, top market news, earnings reports, pre-market movers, and stocks to watch in the stock market today...
Stock Futures Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today slipped 15 points on renewed concerns over Greece's debt problems and a downturn in the Chinese economy. In addition, falling oil prices weighed down the energy sector. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) fell 2.48%, Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) shed 1.19%, and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) slipped 2.81% yesterday.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Investors will focus on a speech by San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, who might offer some insight on when the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates. Companies reporting earnings today include Zillow Inc. (NYSE: Z), Encana Corp.(NYSE: ECA), International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE: IFF), Platform Specialty Products Corp. (NYSE: PAH), InterOil Corp. (NYSE: IOC), Ares Management L.P. (NYSE: ARES), and Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ARCO).
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were flat this morning as investors are weighing oversupply concerns and a stronger U.S. dollar at a time that economic uncertainty is gripping China. WTI crude were holding at above $60 per barrel this morning. Meanwhile, Brent oil were up nearly 1.4% to hit $66.50 per barrel.
- Banks Behaving Badly: The parent companies of as many as five major banks are expected to plead guilty to criminal charges that they knowingly manipulated foreign exchange rates, according to multiple reports out of Washington. The U.S. Justice Department said that five banks are expected to resolve the agency's long-standing investigations into their currency trading practices. Banks expected to plead guilty are JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (NYSE: RBS), Barclays Plc. (NYSE ADR: BCS) and UBS Group AG (USA) (NYSE: UBS).
- Uber Surges: According to multiple reports, car-service app Uber is looking to raise another $2 billion in venture funding. The company is seeking a valuation of more than $50 billion, a level that would make it the world's most valuable startup. The company was previously valued at $41.2 billion. Startups valued at more than $1 billion are on the rise, with an estimated 90 such companies today.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: CMCSA, TWC, HLT, BX, RAX
- Pre-Market Movers 1, CMCSA: Shares of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) slipped this morning despite news that it has hired Carlyle Group Co-President Michael Cavanagh as its new CFO. The announcement is symbolic as Cavanagh is a proven dealmaker, one needed after the cable giant was unable to complete an acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC).
- Pre-Market Movers 2, RAX: Shares of Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX) slipped more than 12% this morning after the company reported weaker-than-expected first quarter revenues and slashed its second-quarter outlook. The cloud-based, web-hosting company said that a stronger U.S. dollar affected its quarter and that it expects revenues in the next quarter to fall in a range between $487.4 million and $492.2 million. That range is down from average Wall Street expectations of $502.1 million in revenues.
- Pre-Market Movers 3, HLT: Shares of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) were gaining back some losses from yesterday after it was announced that Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) planned to sell roughly 103.5 million shares of the hotel operator's stock. The private equity giant is taking some gains from a stock that has gained more than 17% in the last six months.
Stocks to Watch Today: MS, MCD, FXCM
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, MS: According to multiple reports, Castleton Commodities International is purchasing the physical oil business of investment giant Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). The unit was the largest and oldest oil trading shop on Wall Street, and instantly propels Castleton into the high stakes world of crude and fuel trading.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, MCD: Shares McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) are sliding despite news that the company's turnaround is proceeding on schedule. Yesterday, the fast food giant announced plans to simplify its menu and overhaul its prices. In addition to only displaying its top-selling items on its drive-through menu, the company is searching for additional ways to expedite orders. McDonald's shares have been struggling (down 5.2% over the last 12 months) as the company deals with lifestyle changes of American customers, economic uncertainty in Europe, and a damaging food quality scandal in China.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, FXCM: Shares of FXCM Inc. (NYSE: FXCM) cratered nearly 9% on Monday after the foreign trading company announced a first-quarter net loss of $426.8 million. The company was hammered in January after the Swiss National Bank removed a cap on the Swiss Franc's value.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at 9 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams speaks at 12:45 p.m.
- 3-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
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.