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What Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow Jones: 17,731.95; -119.09; -0.67%
S&P 500: 2,102.15; -12.00; -0.57%
Nasdaq: 5,146.41; -25.36; -0.49%
Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 119 points after a string of disappointing earnings reports and 2015 outlook revisions from several components, including 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), and American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP). Investors are also anticipating an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve after positive news in the jobs markets.
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.
The worst-performing sector of the S&P 500 was the basic materials index (.SPLRCM), which slipped roughly 1.5% on the day. The index was weighed down after Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) slipped more than 5% after the company warned of falling demand in China despite beating earnings expectations for the June-ending quarter.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, gained 7.7%.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: A busy day of earnings reports showed more losers than winners today, driving the Dow Jones down big on the day. Shares of Caterpillar Inc. dipped more than 3.5% after the company missed Wall Street earnings expectations and slashed its 2015 revenue outlook by $1 billion. Meanwhile, shares of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) were down on news the firm reported a 2% decline in same-store sales in the second quarter. MCD stock pared early gains after the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations and topped revenue estimates.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices slumped to their lowest levels since March as traders worried about oversupply on the global markets. WTI crude futures for September fell 0.9% to hit 48.75 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices slipped 1.3% to hit $55.37 per barrel. Both U.S. and Brent crude are on pace to post monthly losses of more than 10%.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Friday, investors will keep an eye on housing stocks as the U.S. Commerce Department releases the June report on new home sales. Companies reporting earnings on Friday include Aaron's Inc. (NYSE: AAN), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE: B), South State Corp. (Nasdaq: SSB), and Spirit Airlines Inc. (Nasdaq: SAVE).
Stocks to Watch: SNDK, QCOM, UNP, LUV, CI, ANTM, CVX, XOM, BP
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, SNDK: Shares of SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq: SNDK) jumped more than 17.74% Thursday, a day after the flash-chips company reported lower revenue and profit, although quarterly results were better than Wall Street's much-weaker expectations. Meanwhile, shares of rival Qualcomm Corp. (Nasdaq: QCOM) fell more than 4.3% after the company announced plans to slash 15% of its workforce and cut internal costs by $1.4 billion.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, UNP: Shares of Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) slumped more than 6% after the company missed second-quarter earnings expectations.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, LUV: Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) gained more than 3.5% after the company reported stronger than expected earnings for the second quarter. Excluding certain items, the airline giant reported per-share earnings of $1.03, besting the Thomson Reuters consensus of $1.02 a share. Despite the boost provided by declining fuel prices, Southwest reported its unit revenue – the amount of money it generates per seat for each mile – slipped more than 4.5% from the same period last year.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, CI: Shares of Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) are up more than 6.2% on news 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.
- Stocks to Watch No. 5, CVX: Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) neared a 52-week low, falling 0.8% on Thursday after the company received a downgrade from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) to "Sell" yesterday. Shares continue to fall as oil prices decline on oversupply concerns. CVX isn't the only multinational to see its stock price erode. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) were down 0.7%, while BP Plc. (NYSE ADR: BP) fell 1.6%.
What Investors Must Know This Week
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- The Real Impact of the Iran Nuclear Deal on U.S. Oil Prices
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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.