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How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow Jones: 17,760.41; +211.79.20; +1.21%
S&P 500: 2,076.62; +25.31; +1.23%
Nasdaq: 4,997.70; +75.30; +1.53%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today surged 211 points on widespread optimism that Greece is approaching a deal with international creditors to avoid a default. The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, slipped by 15.7%.
Telecommunications was the top-performing sector out of all 10 major sectors in the S&P 500. Rumors of increased mergers and acquisitions activity propelled investor sentiment. Shares of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) were up more than 1.9% on the day.
Chinese stocks also gave the Dow a bump today, as their two-day rally continues. As of early this week, the Shanghai Composite had slipped 32% since June 12, forcing Beijing to step in and take stabilization measures. The nation has prevented investors with significant stakes in domestic companies from selling their shares, and the nation's largest brokers have purchased more than $19 billion in stocks to provide support to the broader markets. Now the total drop since June 12 is down to 25%.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: Optimism over Greece pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher today. The country is trying to strike a deal with its European creditors. Terms of the deal include tax reforms and a commitment to repay what is owed. Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in a speech Friday afternoon that she anticipates the central bank will hike interest rates later this year, despite her concerns about structural weakness in the U.S. labor markets. Yellen's speech offered little insight into a possible timeline to hike interest rates, but her comments seemed to suggest that concerns about China's stock market meltdown or the ongoing Greek debt talks will have little influence.
- Oil in Focus: Oil priceswere flat on Friday as concerns about increased drilling prospects and more global supply outweighed optimism over Greece's debt talks or China's efforts to prevent a market crash. WTI crude futures for August dipped 0.2% to hit $52.67 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices dipped 0.1% to hit $58.56 per barrel. Oil prices have been subdued this week after a massive sell-off on concerns in Europe and Asia. However, our Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explained this week's market overreaction isn't going to affect oil demand — in fact, it has created a great energy buying opportunity…
- On Tap Next Week: On Monday, a light data calendar will place greater focus on decisions made abroad by European creditors to address Greece's debt situation. Here's a look at what would happen if talks again break down and Greece exits the euro. Companies reporting earnings on Monday include Bank of The Ozarks Inc. (Nasdaq: OZRK), Westamerica Bancorp (Nasdaq: WABC), Cubic Corp. (NYSE: CUB), and Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: AJRD).
Stocks to Watch: CVC, AAPL, BABA, TCTZF, COST
- Stocks to Watch 1, CVC: Shares of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) jumped more than 7% on news the company could soon be on the block. The Wall Street Journal reports French telecommunications giant Altice SA (OTCMKTS ADR: ATCEY) is considering the purchase of several U.S. cable operators, and that places CVC at the top of the short list.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc.(Nasdaq: AAPL) rebounded from yesterday's five-month low and five-day decline. Apple stock gained 2.6% on the day after Raymond James hiked its estimates for Apple's iPhone sales in the third quarter. The stock has struggled in recent weeks after a report by Slice Intelligence stated the firm's Apple Watch sales have declined by 90% since the first week of its release. The company is also facing steep headwinds thanks to growing economic concerns in China, one of its largest sales markets. The five-day slump was its longest since January.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, BABA: Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) gained 1.6% on a broader rise in the Chinese stock markets. But the real news was that the company was able to avoid any fallout from a report that senior executive Patrick Liu was in police custody. Late Thursday, Liu was arrested over allegations of corruption and bribery charges related to his previous role at Tencent Holdings Ltd. (OTCMKTS: TCTZF).
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, COST: Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) added 2.3% on news that Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel issued an upgrade for the wholesale shopping club. Nagel now rates Costco as a "Strong Buy" and set a target price of $160, a big premium from current levels around $142.50. Costco's shares were relatively flat over the first six months of 2015.
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