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Stock Futures Today
On Wednesday, markets declined as the technology sector cratered on weak earnings reports from industry giants, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). Following its earnings report on Tuesday afternoon, Apple stock slipped more than 4.3% after the firm's revenue forecast for the fourth quarter was below market expectations. [Profit Opportunity: Here's how to play Apple Stock After AAPL Q3 Earnings Chop Share Price 5%.]
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: This morning, investors will continue to react to a busy day of earnings reports, in addition to weekly jobless claims, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, and an update on leading indicators.
- Jobs Boom: This morning, the U.S. Labor Department said that the total number of Americans seeking new unemployment claims hit their lowest levels since November 1973. Claims for benefits fell by 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 255,000 for the week ending on July 18.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were up marginally this morning despite news that the United States saw an unexpected increase in domestic reserves. WTI crude futures for September added 0.3% to hit $49.35 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices were flat at $56.15 per barrel. The supply boost adds to the worldwide glut that has deflated prices over the last year. Here's the breakdown.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings today include 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD), Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA), and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: CI, ANTM, AET, HUM, BAC, MCD
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, CI: Shares of Cigna Inc. (NYSE: CI) are up more than 6.2% on news that Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) is about to close a deal to purchase the health insurance company for more than $48 billion. The deal would reduce the number of large players in the health insurance industry from five to three, following additional consolidation in the sector. The deal could be announced later today, although it is still subject to a completion of terms. Shares of ANTM were up more than 2.5% this morning. Three weeks ago, Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) agreed to purchase Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) for roughly $34 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, BAC: Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) were down more than 0.5% this morning on news that the firm is replacing its chief financial officer as part of a shakeup of its executive team. The company confirmed that Bruce Thompson will be replaced by Paul Donofrio, a surprise to many investors who expected Thompson to be a potential candidate to succeed the firm's CEO Brian Moynihan in the future.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, MCD: Shares of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) were up more than 2% this morning on news that the firm beat Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm reported quarterly adjusted earnings of $1.26 a share, while revenue topped estimates.
Stocks to Watch Today: CAT, MSFT
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, CAT: Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) are in focus this morning after the industrial giant reported earnings that matched Wall Street expectations, but the firm slashed its revenue outlook for 2015. Shares were down 2% this morning after the company said that a strong U.S. dollar and weakening demand were factors in its outlook. However, the firm did say that it has done a strong job to keep costs down.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, MSFT: Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) fell 3.7% on news that the company reported its largest quarterly loss in its corporate history. The firm said that it took a massive charge on its Nokia phone business and that global demand for the Windows operating system slipped over the quarter. Microsoft stock is suffering from a bad reaction to a Q4 earnings report that, at first blush, looks really awful. But the stock is a "buy" right now. Here's why.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 7-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS 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
- The Top Three High-Return Investments to Buy Today
- Is Netflix Stock a Buy After Stock Split and Earnings Beat?
- The Real Impact of the Iran Nuclear Deal on U.S. Oil Prices
Stay informed on what's going on in the markets by following 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.