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Stock Futures Today
Dow futures today (Wednesday) forecast a 78-point decline as investors prepared for the release of minutes from the July Fed Open Market Committee meeting. Investors are looking for clues on the potential timing of the central bank tightening monetary policy, though many expect a rate hike either in September or December.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones slipped 33 points after the Chinese stock market fell 6.2% and global retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported disappointing quarterly results. Shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) slipped another 1.8% on the day.
New construction on U.S. housing rose at its strongest pace since October 2007, before the onset of the Great Recession. The U.S. Commerce Department announced housing starts increased by 0.2% last month. Shares of homebuilders and home improvement companies 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 1.4% on the day.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Today, investors will focus on the release of last month's minutes from the Fed Open Market Committee meeting.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices slid again this morning after oversupply concerns were front and center again. WTI crude futures for September slipped another 0.4% to hit $43.45 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices were flat at $48.81 per barrel.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings include Lowe's Co. Inc. (NYSE: LOW), Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB), American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO), Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM), and Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: LOW, HILL, STX, TGT
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, LOW: Shares of Lowe's Co. Inc. (NYSE: LOW) slipped more than 1.1% after the home improvement giant said it missed Wall Street profit estimates by $0.04. The company did beat analyst expectations for revenue and same-store sales, announcing a 4.3% jump in both departments. The firm released a slightly higher 2015 earnings outlook than Wall Street anticipated.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, HILL: Shares of Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: HILL) were up more than 88% this morning after the data storage manufacturer announced it will be purchased by hard disk manufacturer Seagate Technology Plc. (Nasdaq: STX) in an all-cash deal worth $9.75 per share. The deal is worth roughly $694 million.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, TGT: Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) were up more than 4.4% after the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations and reported strong improvements under its CEO Brian Cornell, who took over the role last year. The company beat per-share analyst expectations by $0.11, while revenue targets were in line with estimates. The company hiked its profit outlook for 2015 and beat Wall Street earnings expectations in the second quarter. The firm reported a rise in same-store sales for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Stocks to Watch Today: GM, HD, YUM
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, GM: Auto giant General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is under pressure from United Auto Workers after Reuters reported this morning the company may begin exporting new vehicles manufactured in China. The company said it is looking to build a new five-seat Buick in China and might sell the vehicle here as well. The auto union workers, whose contract expires next month, have blasted the idea.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, HD: On Tuesday, shares of Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) gained 2.6% after reporting stronger than expected second-quarter earnings and news that the home retailing giant announced for the second time it has hiked its 2015 outlook. Home Depot announced a 4% increase in quarterly sales and a 15% boost in profits. The stock hit an all-time intraday high yesterday.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, YUM: Shares of Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) announced it has appointed long-time executive Micky Pant to the role of CEO of its China division. Pant will take over for Sam Su, who is retiring, and will work to rebuild the company's brand name as it continues to struggle in the world's second-largest economy. Yum! Brands has been affected by a meat scandal in 2014, a rising U.S. dollar over the last few quarters, and concerns about the broader Chinese economy in recent months.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
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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