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Stock Futures Today
U.S. stock futures for Friday, June 26, forecasted a 25-point gain from yesterday's close on news that European leaders are looking to extend Greece's debt deadline by helping the nation pay its maturing debt. The move is seen as a last-ditch effort to avoid a default.
On Thursday, the DJIA fell 75 points thanks to ongoing debt drama in Greece.
Yesterday's market decline would have been greater if insurance and healthcare stocks didn't surge. The U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to preserve Federal subsidies under the Affordable Healthcare Act was a boon for healthcare and insurance stocks. Shares of Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC) gained more than 12%, shares of Universal Health Services Inc. (NYSE: UHS) added 7.7%, and HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCA) were up more than 8.8%.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: This morning, a light U.S. economic calendar will provide insight into domestic consumer sentiment. Investors will continue to watch events unfolding in Europe as Greece must unfreeze 7.2 billion euros ($8.06 billion) to make debt payments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) on June 30 and July 20. Here's what happens if Greece defaults...
- Oil Outlook: Domestic oil prices fell on increased global supply and general worries about Greece's impact on the European economy. WTI crude futures for July ticked down 0.9% this morning to hit $59.17 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil fell 0.6% to hit $62.84 per barrel.
- Earnings Reports: Finish Line Inc. (Nasdaq: FINL) will report earnings this morning.
Stocks to Watch Today: HUM, DIS, ZTS, VRX, PVA, BP
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, HUM: While health insurance stocks were already benefiting from the Obamacare ruling, merger and acquisition news continues to drive shares higher. Today, Humana Inc. NYSE: HUM) stock was up on news it could be purchased by rival Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) by as soon as this weekend. Humana also had received an offer from Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI), but several sources reported that the firm's board of directors saw a better financial and operational fit with Aetna. The two companies accelerated discussions after rumors emerged that Cigna and Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) were exploring their own merger.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, DIS: Global entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) announced plans to hike its dividend by 15% on an annual basis. The firm said it will pay out to shareholders two times per year. Disney has seen remarkable strength thanks to its growth in sales at its theme parks and due to the remarkable success of its blockbuster Frozen franchise.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, ZTS: Shares of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) reversed gains and slipped 2% in pre-market hours on news that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) has approached the animal health giant about a takeover bid. The news isn't surprising given Valeant's recent string of acquisitions and both companies' ties to activist investor Bill Ackman.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, PVA: Shares of Penn Virginia Corp. (NYSE: PVA) rose sharply on Thursday after a rumor emerged that the company had turned down a takeover offer from BP plc (NYSE ADR: BP). However, the struggling oil-and-gas company has issued a press release denying it turned down an $8-per-share bid. The company has been under pressure from activist investor George Soros, who owns an 8% stake in the firm, to sell itself to a suitor.
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: NKE, MU, NFLX, IACI
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, NKE: Shares of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) jumped more than 3.7% in premarket hours after the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell on Thursday. Consensus analyst expectations called for earnings of $0.83. The company said global sales increased 4.8% over the quarter, even in the face of a stronger U.S. dollar.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, MU: Shares of Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) slumped nearly 15% in pre-market hours after the company missed Wall Street expectations for its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The memory chip manufacturer said lower selling prices dampened its profit margins and broader weakness in the personal computer (PC) sector created financial headwinds.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, NFLX: Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) are in focus this morning, gaining 0.5% after the technology giant was downgraded from a "buy" to a "sell" by Société Générale SA (OTCMKTS ADR: SCGLY). The downgrade came after activist investor Carl Icahn sold his stake following news of Netflix's pending seven-for-one stock split.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 4, IACI: Shares of IAC/InterActiveCorp. (Nasdaq: IACI) gained nearly 5% after the company's CEO Barry Diller said the media giant may spin off its stake in a group of companies that include dating websites. Called "The Match Group," the proposed public company would offer several dating sites and apps, including Match.com and Tinder. [Editor's Note: We called it -- Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani predicted a spin-off was in the works last week - get the full story here...]
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Esther George Speaks at 12:45 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Four Trillion-Dollar Tech Trends to Get In On Today
- The New No. 1 Threat to Your Savings and How to Avoid It
- The Truth You're Not Hearing About the Oil Market
Follow us on Twitter @moneymorning.
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.