How Does Facebook Make Money? - August 2015

For Aug. 20, here's how the stock market did today, earnings reports, the top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today's market moves...

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?

8 20 15 afternoon reportDow Jones: 16,990.69; -358.04; -2.06%

S&P 500: 2,035.73; -43.88; -2.11%

Nasdaq: 4,877.49; -141.56; -2.82%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average cratered more than 358 points today, despite news U.S. home resales hit a near eight-and-a-half year high in July and Mid-Atlantic manufacturing activity gained in August. The financial sector declined more than 2% on the day after investors reduced expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in September. Today's decline turned the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 into negative territory for the year.

Media stocks took a huge blow today after an investment research firm said the entire sector requires an evaluation of how companies should be traded and evaluated. Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) - the owner of ESPN - and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) dipped more than 5% over concerns about cable-cutting.

Shares of Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB) slipped 6.3%; shares of AMC Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AMCX) dipped 4.5%; and shares of DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH) dropped 4.3%. Shares of sports media and entertainment giant The Madison Square Garden Co. (NYSE: MSG) fell 4.1% despite news the company beat fourth-quarter Wall Street profit and revenue expectations. The broader media stock decline even pulled down streaming stocks like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).

Gold prices rallied another 2%, while silver prices added another 2.2%, as the chances of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve dwindled. Gold prices rallied to their highest levels since July 16, rising strongly in the aftermath of China's recent surprise yuan devaluation.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, surged more than 22% on the day.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market News: Today, all 10 S&P 500 sectors fell, with the utilities sector losing the least at 0.84%. The Nasdaq was off nearly 3% as investors speculated on monetary policy timing of the Federal Reserve and watched oil prices fall to their lowest levels since March 2009.
  • Oil Moves: Oil prices continue to crater to their lowest levels since the height of the financial crisis in March 2009 on concerns about a major oversupply glut. WTI crude futures for September dropped another 0.6% to hit $40.59 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices dipped 1.1% to $46.65 per barrel. The decline of oil prices are a huge drag on multinational giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), down 2.2%, and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), down 2.1% on the day. In addition, a bombshell secret deal between Iran and Western nations are weighing on oil prices. For a breakdown of the deal and how it will affect energy investments moving forward, click here.
  • On Tap Friday: Tomorrow, a light economic calendar will feature the PMI Manufacturing Index Flash, while investors will continue to speculate on the timing of a possible interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Companies reporting earnings include Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL), and Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB).

Stocks to Watch: NTAP, MU, LLY, AAPL, VRX

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, NTAP: Shares of NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) gained 3.4% despite reporting a quarterly loss and a round of pending layoffs. In addition to $30 million in quarterly losses, the firm said it will lay off 500 employees. The firm beat non-GAAP earnings estimates in the June-ending quarter.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, MU: Shares of Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) dipped 7.3% to a near two-year low after the semiconductor giant received a downgrade from Robert W. Baird & Co. The investment firm said in a research note that it's concerned about broader pricing and demand trends on the semiconductor industry.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, LLY: Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) gained 4.2% after the company and its manufacturing partner Boehringer Ingelheim announced positive trial results for the diabetes treatment Jardiance.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 4, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slipped 2.1% after research firm Gartner announced the tech giant saw smartphone sales decline in China for the first time in company history during the second quarter. Apple stock has declined from all-time highs as the Chinese economy and stock market continue to struggle.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 5, VRX: Shares of Bill Ackman-backed Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) dipped 6.5% after the company announced plans to purchase privately held drug firm Sprout Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion. Just this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of Spout's female libido drug, dubbed by the media as the "female Viagra."

What Investors Must Know This Week

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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