Dow Jones Industrial Average Set to Gain on Yellen's Words

Good morning! For Thursday, July 16, 2015, here's a look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average today, plus earnings reports, top stock market news, stocks to watch, and more...

Stock Futures Today

stocks to watch todayU.S. stock futures for Thursday, July 16, forecasted a 53-point gain from yesterday's close. In testimony to Congress yesterday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen reiterated the central bank's stance that there will be a rate hike "at some point this year." Yellen's prepared statement ahead of her testimony delivered an upbeat assessment of the current U.S. economy, pointing to increased consumer spending and an improvement in employment as support for lifting interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

Anti-austerity protesters in Greece rioted over the nation's planned $95 billion bailout acceptance and threw petrol bombs at police. The rioting caused the Greek parliament to close. Police administered tear gas to disperse the crowd. Here's why the new Greek bailout is just another sign of political crisis and Syriza's failure to govern the country...

Top News in the Stock Market Today

  • The Stock Market Today: This morning, investors will focus on weekly jobless reports, reactions to Greek riots over its austerity program, and testimony by Janet Yellen before the Senate Banking Committee.
  • Oil Outlook: Oil prices rebounded a bit this morning on news U.S. crude inventories declined and refinery demand was on the rise. WTI crude futures for August added 0.3% to hit $51.56 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices dipped 0.9% to hit $57.59 per barrel. Prices have been on the downswing after Iran and the West reached a deal over the former's nuclear program. Traders are worried about the impact of Iran's plans to double its export capacity and flood the world with even more crude at a time that oversupply remains a challenge for many oil-producing nations.
  • Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings today include Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD), BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT), Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB), and Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGGOOGL).

Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: INTC, NFLX, EBAY

  • Pre-Market Movers No. 1, INTC: Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) gained roughly 2.5% in pre-market hours after the semiconductor giant announced it had beat earnings estimates for the June-ending quarter. However, the company reported quarterly profits declined by 3.2% compared to the same period in 2014. The firm also saw a drop in revenue. Intel said strong growth in its memory, Internet of Things, and data center businesses offset weakness in the PC business. So, is Intel stock a buy right now? There could be opportunity with so many analysts beating INTC down...
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 2, NFLX: Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) surged more than 12.3% in pre-market hours on news the company topped Wall Street earnings expectations in the June-ending quarter and added 3.28 million new streaming subscribers. Company officials reported earnings per share (EPS) beat at $0.06, compared to an estimate of $0.04. Prior to the announcement, the stock had declined 2.2% in yesterday's trading session after a 7-for-1 stock split was issued. [Profit Opportunity: How to Play Netflix Shares Following Earnings]
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 3, EBAY: Shares of eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) were up more than 3.2% on news that the company beat consensus earnings for the second quarter. EBAY also announced it is near a deal to sell its enterprise unit for roughly $900 million and that will spin off its payments business PayPal on Friday. PayPal stock will trade under the ticker PYPL on the Nasdaq. Finally, the company announced plans to increase its stock buyback program by $1 billion.

Stocks to Watch Today: OLLI, AMZN, C, GS

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, OLLI: Shares of Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: OLLI) will begin trading on Thursday after the company announced it has priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $16 a share. The company said it will issue nearly 9 million shares and use the proceeds to pay off debt.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, AMZN: Shares of Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) slipped nearly 1% despite reporting success during its inaugural "Prime Day," a one-day shopping holiday to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The company reported that Prime Day peak order rates have already surpassed totals from Black Friday last year, exceeding expectations of the firm's efforts to pique shopping interest during a typically soft summer retail season. Sales were up 80% on the day. Rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) also reported strong sales as the company attempted to keep pace with the e-commerce giant and issued free shipping on orders over $35 as an incentive for customers to bypass the purchase of a $99 Amazon Prime account.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, C, GS: Shares of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) were up roughly 2.2% after the company reported its best quarterly profits in eight years. The company said that its ongoing restructuring efforts have helped reduce costs, while its legal expenses have declined significantly. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) missed earnings, which pushed the stock down roughly 0.8%. Wall Street analysts expected earnings of $3.84 per share, while the company reported an underwhelming $1.98. The firm faced a number of legal costs last quarter and had been affected by recent market volatility.

Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)

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  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 10 a.m.
  • Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks 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.
  • 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

Today's Top Profit Opportunities

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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