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Good morning! For Friday, May 22, here are your U.S. stock futures, top market news, earnings reports, pre-market movers, and stocks to watch in the stock market today…
Stock Futures Today
Dow Jones futures forecasted a 14-point gain ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech at 1 p.m. this afternoon. She will discuss the outlook of the U.S. economy. Investors will look for clues on the Fed's interest rate plan. [Here's what the FOMC meeting minutes released Wednesday had to say.]
Although both the Dow Jones and the S&P are hovering near record levels, investors can expect lower volumes today as the Memorial Day holiday approaches and the quarterly earnings season ends.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: In addition to Yellen's speech, investors today will keep their focus on U.S. economic data, which includes the Consumer Price Index.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings this morning include Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL), Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), and ANN Inc. (NYSE: ANN).
- Oil Prices Today: Oil prices were sluggish this morning, ahead of the weekend that kicks off driving season in the United States. WTI crude futures for June fell 0.8% this morning to hit $60.22 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil was down 1.1% to hit $65.81 per barrel.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: HPQ, DE, BBRY
- Pre-Market Movers 1 – HPQ: Shares of the Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) were on the rise this morning after the company beat Wall Street earnings estimates, but the world's second-largest PC manufacturer offered a cautious outlook for the road ahead. The hardware giant said it had per-share earnings of $0.87, besting Wall Street expectations by a penny. It also announced plans to sell controlling 51% stake in its China-based data-networking company to China's Tsinghua Unigroup for roughly $2.3 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers 2 – BBRY: Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) were up more than 3% on news that the tech firm plans to purchase roughly 2.6% of outstanding shares in a buyback program. The company said it is engaging in the buyback plan to offset any negative impact of an employee-stock-purchase plan that is poised to go into effect.
- Pre-Market Movers 3 -DE: Shares of Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) jumped more than 3.4% this morning after the company reported positive quarterly earnings. The heavy equipment maker reported per-share quarterly earnings of $2.03, well ahead of Wall Street's projections of $1.55. Deere had a small downturn in revenues, but outpaced expectations given significant weaknesses in the global agricultural sector.
Stocks to Watch Today: EXPE, CTRP, AMZN
- Stocks to Watch No. 1: EXPE: Global travel operator Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) said it has sold its 62.4% stake in China travel site eLong. The firm sold its shares of $671 million to a consortium of buyers that included Ctrip.com International Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: CTRP). Shares of CTRP were up more than 5% on news of the deal. Shares of eLong Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: LONG) jumped more than 36% this morning.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2 – AMZN: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were climbing again this morning after yesterday's announcement that the company's Amazon Prime Now one-hour delivery services will soon be available in Manhattan. The services guarantees one-hour deliver of groceries, meals, and baked goods. Shares of Amazon were up more than 1.8% during yesterday's trading session.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 1 p.m.
- SIFMA Close 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.