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Stock Futures Today
Stock futures forecasted a 17-point decline from yesterday's close. This morning, U.S. jobless claims remained at a near 15-year low. Claims registered at roughly 274,000, a little higher than economist expectations of 271,000.
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released minutes from its April FOMC meeting. Central bank members believe the weak first quarter, in which GDP grew by a paltry 0.2%, was transitory and that the U.S. economy will grow at a moderate pace over the balance of 2015. Sentiment indicates a rate hike is likely at some point in 2015; however, it is clear that a June hike is not in the cards. [Click here to get our full report on yesterday's Fed FOMC meeting minutes.]
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Any investor who doesn't know about the impact of manufacturing reports on the markets is certain to learn today. This morning, manufacturing purchasing reports will be released in China and major Eurozone nations. Tomorrow morning, the U.S. will release its PMI Manufacturing Index Flash.
- Companies reporting earnings today include Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO), Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY), Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR), Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Fresh Market Inc. (NYSE: TFM), and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NM), and New York & Co. Inc. (NYSE: NWY).
- Brazil Is Burning: Major protests continue in Brazil over the ongoing Petrobas corruption scandal that has stretched into the upper halls of government. Brazil will announce its unemployment rate this morning, which may fuel the fire.
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices are on the rise as U.S. inventory levels fell yesterday for the third-straight week and geopolitical concerns in Iraq continue to inflate prices. WTI crude futures for July rose 1% this morning at $59.55 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil, which is priced in London, rose 1.1% to hit $65.71 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: BBY, LUV, CRM, UAL, DAL
- Pre-Market Movers 1, LL: Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL) CEO Robert Lynch unexpectedly quit this morning. Lumber Liquidators stock immediately fell 17% after the announcement. Earlier this month the company said it was halting sales of all Chinese laminate flooring. LL faces multiple lawsuits over product safety, and possible criminal charges over foreign sourcing. We covered the LL scandal when it broke in March - read about the bloody details here...
- Pre-Market Movers 2, BBY: Shares of Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) surged more than 9% in pre-market hours on news the electronics retailer beat earnings estimates handily in the first quarter. The firm reported an adjusted quarterly profit of $0.37 per share, beating Wall Street estimates by $0.08.
- Pre-Market Movers 3, CRM: Shares of Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) didn't need rumors or takeover speculation to drive prices up this morning. Shares of the cloud software company were up more than 5% after the firm reported a profit for the first time in seven quarters.
Stocks to Watch Today: OCR, CVS, PFE, PAA
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, OCR: Merger mania continues... Today, shares of Omnicare Inc. (NYSE: OCR) are up 1.5% pre-market after news the pharmacy benefits manager will be bought by CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS). The all-cash deal is expected to be worth roughly $10.4 billion, or $98 per share. The deal rises to $12.7 billion when including debt assumption. Shares of CVS were up more than 1.3%.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2 , PFE: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is in focus after it received a heap of praise from one of Wall Street's most prominent banks, Jefferies. The firm said Pfizer is its top global pharmaceutical stock to own.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, PAA: Shares of Plains All American Pipeline LP (NYSE: PAA) were down more than 2.3% in pre-market hours after an oil spill occurred on the West Coast of the U.S. yesterday afternoon. A 24-inch pipeline leaked nearly 500 barrels, or 21,000 gallons, of crude oil that stretched about four miles along the California coastline. Get our breakdown of what the leak means for PAA stock here...
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 10 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 7-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks at 1:30 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at 7 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.