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Stock Futures Today
On Thursday, 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.
Yesterday, 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.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: This morning, investors will keep an eye on housing stocks as the U.S. Commerce Department releases the June report on new home sales.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were stable this morning, but stuck in bear market territory. WTI crude futures for September were up 0.3 at $48.63 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices were down 0.2% to hit $55.16 per barrel. Oil prices remain at near-five-month lows as investors remain concerned about oversupply and weakening demand.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings today include Aaron's Inc. (NYSE: AAN), AbbVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ABBV), American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE: B), South State Corp. (NYSE: SSB), and Spirit Airlines Inc. (Nasdaq: SAVE).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: AMZN, T, AAL
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, AMZN: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were up more than 21% to hit a new record this morning. AMZN stock has surged after earnings Thursday evening revealed the online e-commerce giant beat profit expectations. The firm reported that quarterly revenues hit $23.185 billion, up from $19.34 billion in the same period last year.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, T: Shares of AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) were up more than 2.3% after the company reported adjusted quarterly per-share profits of $0.69, beating Wall Street estimates by $0.06. The firm credited a boost in its customers for the quarter for the surprise earnings report.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, AAL: Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) were up more than 2.5% after the company announced it beat consensus expectations in the second quarter. The firm reported a per-share profit of $2.60 on top of $10.86 billion.
Stocks to Watch Today: CI, ANTM, CMSA
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, CI: Shares of Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) are in focus after Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) announced it will purchase its rival for $188 per share. The deal would reduce the number of large players in the health insurance industry from five to three, following additional consolidation in the sector. Once combined, the new company will insure 53 million customers and generate revenue of $115 billion.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, CMCSA: Shares of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) are in focus today on news that the company is exploring a number of different acquisitions to purchase online media properties. According to The Wall Street Journal, Comcast is eyeing Vice Media, BuzzFeed, and Business Insider as possible takeover targets. The company also announced that it lost 69,000 subscribers over the last quarter, as customers continue to unplug and purchase less expensive alternatives like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.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
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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.