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Stock Futures Today
U.S. stock futures for Friday, July 31 forecast an 11-point decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average as traders continue to gauge the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to maintain record-low interest rates and the second-quarter GDP report. Chinese stocks were down this morning as volatility continues to hit the nation's markets. Meanwhile, a decline in oil prices is pulling down shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) after the companies reported earnings this morning.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down five points as investors were mixed over the U.S. Commerce Department's announcement that the economy grew at a modest 2.3% in the second quarter of 2015. Investors also appeared underwhelmed by June-ending earnings reports.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Today, traders will continue to digest the second-quarter GDP report while exploring monthly consumer sentiment and the Chicago PMI. Meanwhile, gold prices are slumping to five-year lows as investors remain certain that the Federal Reserve is planning to hike interest rates later this year. [Profit Opportunity: Low Gold Prices have Created One Overlooked Gold Play that Could Bring Us 115%.]
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices slumped this morning after OPEC, the global production cartel, announced it had to plans to cut production. WTI crude futures for September slipped 1.8% to hit 47.61 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices added 1.1% to hit $52.75 per barrel.
- Healthy Lifestyles: The search for profits in the healthy lifestyle category are ramping up. Yesterday, SoulCycle filed its paperwork for an IPO. Next week, gym Planet Fitness and healthy snack food company Amplify Snack Brands are expected to price their IPOs, as investors look to cash in on a massive health trend across the United States.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings today Arbor Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: ABR), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), IMS Health Holdings Inc. (NYSE: IMS), ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT) Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM), and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: RCL, LNKD, FEYE
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, RCL: Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) were up nearly 6% after the company reported stronger than expected earnings and raised its 2015 profit outlook. The company cited stronger marketing initiatives and cost cutting in areas like fuel consumption for its strong report.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, LNKD: Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) are down more than 6% this morning after the professional social network reported a larger adjusted loss than Wall Street anticipated. The firm posted a loss of $67.7 million, an increase from $1 million last year. Still, the company beat Wall Street's revenue expectations and matched earnings expectations.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, FEYE: Shares of FireEye Inc. (Nasdaq: FEYE) slipped more than 5% on news that the cybersecurity firm's CFO will step down in the wake of its slowest quarterly revenue gain since its 2013 IPO. The firm's statement said CFO Michael Sheridan is leaving in August to join "a private technology company in an unrelated industry."
Stocks to Watch Today: WFM, NEOG
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, WFM: Shares of Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) are down another 3% in pre-market hours after falling more than 11% yesterday. On Thursday, the company issued a weak earnings outlook for 2015 and a weak Whole Foods Q3 earnings report. The company's quarterly earnings report raised additional concerns over its expected revenue growth for 2015 and beyond. WFM stock is under increased pressure from competitors like Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), both of which are boosting their organic sales. WFM stock is also under pressure on news the firm is creating a new "365" chain of stores, which will be smaller and less expensive in order to boost its millennial customer base. Here's a breakdown of the company's earnings report.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, NEOG: Shares of Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG) jumped more than 21% last week after the firm reported very strong Q2 earnings. Neogen reported a record high for both earnings and revenue. As investors turn to the next quarter, analysts predict 8% earnings growth and 12.3% revenue growth, making it a strong stock to own. Money Morning readers remember this stock, as it is now up more than 36.5% since we first recommended it on April 22, 2014. But NEOG stock is just getting started, and it could be your ticket to big profits in 2015 and beyond.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Employment Cost Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
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- The Real Impact of the Iran Nuclear Deal on U.S. Oil Prices
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.