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Stock Futures Today
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 236 points on news Germany may allow Greece to commit to one economic reform in order to obtain much-needed aid.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Investors will keep an eye on weekly jobless claims and a May retail sales report. U.S. retail sales have stumbled in recent months, with April's report raising concerns about economic growth in the second quarter. Meanwhile, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is getting personally involved in Greece's ongoing debt drama and has told the country's prime minister it must stop seeking softer terms in a deal with its creditors.
- World Woe I: The World Bank said yesterday it slashed its global growth outlook for 2015 and said nations should "fasten their seat belts" as markets adjust to falling commodity prices and a pending interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The agency's top economist Kaushik Basu has urged the U.S. central bank to delay its plans to hike rates until 2016 on concerns it would accelerate unfavorable currency conditions and negatively affect global growth rates.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were flat this morning after the World Bank slashed its global growth forecast. WTI crude futures for July were flat this morning at $61.40 per barrel. Brent oil was up 0.1% to hit $65.80 per barrel.[Profit Opportunity: The Four Best Energy Stocks to Buy Now…]
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings this morning include ARI Network Services Inc. (Nasdaq: ARIS), Cherokee Inc. (Nasdaq: CHKE), Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD), Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: HCC, BOX, MSFT
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, HCC: Shares of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCC) surged more than 35% after the specialty insurer announced it will be purchased by Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. (OTC ADR: TKOMY) for $7.5 billion. This represents the largest M&A deal by a Japanese company in 2015.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, BOX: Shares of Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) jumped more than 9% after the company reported a smaller loss than Wall Street anticipated after the bell yesterday. The cloud-storage company's CEO Aaron Levie raised the revenue outlook by $5 million for the year. Box has more than 37 million users – but most do not pay for their services. A little more than 10% of their users actually pay for services, representing a year-over-year increase of roughly 70%. [Should you buy Box stock? Here's our analysis…]
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, MSFT: Software giant Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced the pricing and availability of its largest product ever, a wall-mounted Surface Hub. The price tag starts at $20,000 each. The device is an enormous cloud-connected screen allowing employees to use it as a digital whiteboard and video conference hub. Orders will begin on July 1.
Stocks to Watch Today: TGT, AAPL, BABA
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, BABA: Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) is pushing higher this morning on optimistic news from its Chairman Jack Ma. Yesterday, Ma told a conference the company is aiming to achieve $1 trillion in "sales" by 2020. Ma was referring to a metric known as "gross merchandise volume," which is a tally of all transactions across all of the company's sales platforms. This figure amounted to $390 billion last fiscal year.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, AAPL: Earlier this week, tech giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and announced a streaming music service to rival Spotify, Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P), and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). However, the announcement hasn't made a universal splash. On Tuesday, prominent music blogger Bob Lefsetz shared little enthusiasm and said no breakthrough feature will entice consumers to pay $10 per month for music streaming without a free, ad-driven platform.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, TGT: Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) are in focus after the Big Box retailer announced plans to hike its quarterly dividend by $0.56 per share. The company also announced plans to boost its stock buyback program to $10 billion. On Tuesday, Target's public relations department accidentally announced the company's plans before its board of directors had finished voting on the measures. So, is Target stock a buy? Find out here…
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 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.
- 30-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.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Your Guide to the Upcoming Snapchat IPO
- How to Profit from the Coming Energy Debt Bubble
- Invest Like Warren Buffett? Don't Try This at Home
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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.