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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.