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May 13, 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 DJIA Index pared early triple-digit losses as U.S. Treasury prices reversed course yesterday, but the index still lost 36 points on the day. Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) was the biggest drag on the Dow, slipping 1.73%. The company's rival, Dupont Co. (NYSE: DD), slipped 0.73%. Dupont shares have rebounded slightly in pre-market hours, while Dow continued its decline.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Today, investors will watch for the Energy Information Administration (EIA) crude oil inventory report as domestic supplies remain in focus. Monthly retail and automotive sales for the month of April will likely affect stocks in both sectors, especially in the former as JC Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP), Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M), and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) announce quarterly earnings.
- Credit Downgrades: The credit downgrades are coming across the United States for cities with bloated and unsustainable pension funds. Yesterday, Moody's slashed Chicago's credit rating to "junk" status as the city continues to grapple with an anticipated jump in contributions in police and firefighter pension funds by more than 150% next year. Chicago has joined Detroit as the only two U.S. cities with "junk" status ratings, and the city (which already has a sales tax of 10.5%) may need to raise taxes again to meet its spending obligations.
- Focus Abroad: Greece has slipped back into recession at a time that it is already behind the eight ball on its pending debt payments to the European Union. But while Germany missed GDP expectations for the first quarter, the broader economic bloc grew at its fastest pace in three years, boosted by expansion in the French and Italian economies.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were on the rise this morning after U.S. stockpiles slipped for the second consecutive week. WTI crude gained nearly 1.4% to reach $61.59 per barrel this morning. Meanwhile, Brent oil gained nearly 1% to hit $68.06 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: AXP, CSCO, SHAK, PLL, DHR
- Pre-Market Movers 1, SHAK: Shares of Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) were down nearly 0.8% this morning as the casual dining outlet prepares to release first-quarter earnings today after the bell. Analysts are anticipating a per-share loss of $0.03 in what is the company's second earnings report since its January IPO.
- Pre-Market Movers 2, AXP: Shares of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) were up more than 1.6% this morning on news that the company raised its dividend by 12% and announced a stock buyback program. The buyback program will consist of roughly 150 million common shares and the decision to repurchase stock will be based on "market conditions" and "the Federal Reserve's non-objection of the company's capital plans."
- Pre-Market Movers 3, CSCO: Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) were up 0.4% ahead of its fiscal third-quarter revenue and profit reports. The network equipment maker expects stronger demand for switching equipment and routers to offset weak spending on telecom operations.
- Pre-Market Movers 4, PLL: Shares of Pall Corp. (NYSE: PLL) jumped another 5% this morning after The Wall Street Journal announced it will be sold to Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) for $127.20 per share. Pall Corp. shares surged roughly 19.4% yesterday on news that the company was examining bids from several potential suitors. The total deal is worth roughly $13.8 billion.
Stocks to Watch Today: AAPL, GE, VRTX
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were up 0.3% pre-market on news that the company is exploring a deal with Alibaba Holding Group Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) that could bring Apple Pay to China.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, GE: Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) were up marginally in pre-market hours on news that the industrial giant plans to sell its $5 billion Japanese commercial finance unit. The sale is part of a broader strategy by the U.S. giant to scale back its company operations.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, VRTX: Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTX) jumped more than 6.5% this morning on news that a Food and Drug Administration panel has recommended the approval of the firm's cystic fibrosis treatment.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Auction at 1 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.