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Good morning! For Thursday, May 14, here are your top stocks to watch today, plus stock futures, pre-market movers, earnings reports, and other top market news…
Stock Futures Today
The DJIA Index ended yesterday's trading session down 7 points on news that retail sales slumped in April, fueling new concerns second-quarter growth may not rebound as projected by economists. Meanwhile, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said markets are facing another "taper tantrum" when the central bank increases interest rates in the near future…
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Companies reporting quarterly earnings include Teekay Corp. (NYSE: TK), Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO), and SINA Corp. (Nasdaq:SINA). Investors will also tune into weekly jobless claims and an update on the Producer Price Index (PPI).
- Commodities in Focus: Yesterday, the dollar had its worst day in a week while gold and silver rallied. This morning, gold prices were holding above the $1,200 ceiling and have reached a five-week high. Silver prices also continue to climb Thursday – a day after the white metal jumped beyond $17 per ounce, rising 3.5% on the day.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were largely flat this morning as traders were trying to gain a better understanding of U.S. economic data. WTI crude futures for June were unchanged at $60.55 per barrel this morning. Meanwhile, Brent oil gained nearly 0.4% to hit $67.05 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today:
- Pre-Market Movers 1, CSCO: Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) are down 1.1% pre-market this morning. The company reported quarterly earnings after the bell Wednesday, beating EPS expectations and reporting revenue levels in line with Wall Street projections. The CSCO stock slide is largely tied to expectations that spending on telecommunications by customers and businesses will remain stagnant for some time.
- Pre-Market Movers 2, DD: Shares of Dupont Co. (NYSE: DD) were up roughly 1% in pre-market hours after the company slumped 6% Wednesday. The company has just won a proxy battle during its annual shareholder meeting against Trian Fund Management and activist investor Nelson Peltz. Shareholders rejected the hedge fund's nominations to Dupont's corporate board, which may have sought a breakup of the iconic American chemical company into two publicly traded firms.
- Pre-Market Movers 3, PBYI: Shares of Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI) slumped more than 22% on news that a late-stage breast cancer drug trial has under-performed. According to reports, the experimental drug extended the average patient's life, but only by 2.3 months.
Stocks to Watch Today:
- Stocks to Watch Today No. 1, GOOG: The battle for human capital is heating up in Silicon Valley, and Uber Technologies, a ride-sharing program that is disrupting the taxi industry, just scored a major coup. The company poached Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) public relations chief Rachel Whetstone to run its communications team. Uber, which currently has a valuation north of $50 billion, is likely in the mid-stages of going public.
- Stocks to Watch Today No. 2, WMT: Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced yesterday it's working with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) to accept mobile payment system Alipay at 400 stores in southern China. This is important news for both companies as they continue to take advantage of the unstoppable trend of digital payment systems. As we explained on Wednesday, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is working diligently to pursue a partnership with Alibaba to bring its Apple Pay to China.
- Stocks to Watch Today No. 3, BABA: Speaking of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant said it is making its expansion outside of China a major priority. According to a report on its news site Alizila, the company's new CEO Daniel Zhang said, "We must absolutely globalize." The firm is currently exploring opportunities to expand in India, and may look for footholds into nations like Brazil and Russia.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Yr TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Yr Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.