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How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
S&P 500: 2,102.44; +10.90; +0.52%
Nasdaq: 5,091.70; +43.46; +0.86%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today added nearly 68 points, fueled by a surge in U.S. homebuilder sentiment in August.
This morning, the National Association of Home Builders said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index jumped from 60 to 61 over the last month, the highest level reached since November 2005. The news gave a boost to housing stocks. Shares of D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM), and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) all rose more than 1% on the day.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, gained more than 1.6% on the day.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: The Dow Jones added nearly 68 points despite news the Japanese economy cratered in the second quarter of 2015. Japan's economy shrank by 1.6% in the quarter due to falling exports and steep cuts in consumer spending. The news couldn't offset optimism in the U.S. housing market, nor could economic data this morning that indicated a surprise decline in the state of New York's manufacturing production in August.
- Oil Moves: Oil prices slid on news of Japan's economic downturn in the second quarter and broader concerns about global demand. WTI crude futures for September fell nearly 1.5% to hit $41.89 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices dipped nearly 0.9% to $48.75 per barrel. Meanwhile, in positive news for the oil and gas industry, multinational giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE: RDS.A) announced it has received approval from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to drill in the Arctic Ocean after the company successfully implemented control mechanisms to prevent deep-water well blowouts.
- On Tap Tuesday: Tomorrow, investors will focus on the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index and a monthly update on Productivity and Costs. With economic data and oil prices in focus, investors are eyeing Wednesday's pending release of last month's minutes from the Fed Open Market Committee meeting. Companies reporting earnings on Tuesday include Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), SINA Corp. (Nasdaq: SINA), Hain Celestial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN), TJX Co. Inc. (NYSE: TJX), and Medtronic Plc. (NYSE: MDT).
Stocks to Watch: ZU, EL, S, TSLA, GS
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, ZU: Shares of online retailer zulily Inc. (Nasdaq: ZU) surged more than 48% on news that Liberty Media Corp.'s (Nasdaq: LMCA) shopping network QVC announced plans to purchase the company for $2.4 billion in cash and stock. Despite the surge in today's stock, the company's shares are still down 55% over the last 52 weeks, and its deal value is less than half of its $5 billion valuation during its IPO in November 2013.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, EL: Shares of Estee Lauder Co. Inc. (NYSE: EL) slumped more than 6.5% after the company beat quarterly earnings reports but issued a weaker than expected guidance outlook for the rest of 2015. The company also reported weaker revenue than Wall Street anticipated after its sales in cleansers and moisturizers came in 16% below its performance in the same period last year.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, S: Shares of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) added more than 10% on increased investor sentiment and news the company has launched a smartphone program called "iPhone Forever," which allows customers to upgrade their phone hardware to the latest version of the iPhone for $22 per month. In addition, the company's largest shareholder, SoftBank Group Corp. (OTCMKTS: SFTBF), purchased another $87 million in stock in the firm.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, TSLA: Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) added 4.9% on news Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) upgraded its price target for the electric vehicle company from $280 to $465. The investment firm said it was its top pick for U.S. auto manufacturers based on its anticipated ventures in "shared mobility" in the coming years.
- Stocks to Watch No. 5, GS: Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) said in a research report today it expects the S&P 500 to finish 2015 flat. The firm cited lackluster earnings and profits growth, high IPO valuations, weak economic growth, and concerns about mutual fund capital outflows. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas announced this morning it has appointed former Harvard Business School professor and Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman Robert Steven Kaplan to the position of president. Kaplan will assume this role on Sept. 8 and replace Robert Fischer.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Why We're Still Bullish on Apple Stock (Nasdaq: AAPL)
- The Best Way to Add Gold to Your Portfolio Today
- The 4 Real Reasons Oil Prices Are Slipping – and How to Profit
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