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How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow Jones: 16,374.76; +23.38; +0.14%
S&P 500: 1,951.13; +2.27; +0.12%
Nasdaq: 4,733.50; -16.48; -0.35%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today was largely flat today, gaining just 23 points in a topsy-turvy session, as investors await for the U.S. Commerce Department to release the August employment report. Tomorrow's payroll number will be the last day before the September FOMC Meeting in which the central bank will decide on whether it will increase interest rates. The biggest drag on the Dow Jones today was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), which slid more than 2.2%.
In other news, European Central Bank may further loosen monetary policy in order to stimulate the struggling economic bloc. ECB head Mario Draghi said the economic growth worsened in August and new risks are plaguing the European economy, including lower commodity prices, a stronger euro, and a negative outlook on inflation.
The Nasdaq was off more than 0.3%, with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) being the biggest weight on the index. Apple stock declined more than 1.6% on the day. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), which added 1.9%, helped offset Apple's losses on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gauge, fell 1.8% on the day.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: This morning, U.S. jobless claims rose to a two-month high, while layoffs are up 31% year over year. Meanwhile, silver prices saw a minor retreat as U.S. markets remained mostly flat throughout the day. Volatility in the silver markets has caused a dramatic sell-off in the commodity over the last month. On the global front, China's markets were closed today. Here's why they will also remain closed on Friday.
- Oil Moves: Domestic WTI oil prices were up more than 1.3% to reach $46.86. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices added 0.5% to $50.78 per barrel. Prices remain under pressure as higher supplies and falling demand – principally in China – are weighing on global traders. Investors should remain curious on whether OPEC will cut production.
- On Tap Friday: Tomorrow, investors will be watching for the August unemployment report, which will be central to the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision this month on whether or not it will raise interest rates. In addition, the Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) rig count will offer insight into U.S. oil and gas production, while Richmond Federal Reserve Bank Jeffrey Lacker will argue in a speech that the Fed should not further delay action on interest rates. No public companies listed on the NYSE or Nasdaq will report earnings tomorrow, which is a common practice on the Friday before Labor Day.
Stocks to Watch: JOY, EBAY, LCI, TWTR
- Stocks to Watch 1, JOY: Shares of Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY) fell more than 14.5% after the mining equipment manufacturer reported weaker than expected quarterly profits and slashed its 2015 profit outlook. The company said its quarterly profits slipped by 27%, while revenues remained weak due to falling demand linked to falling oil and gas prices. In addition, the company is taking a big hit in the coal industry, where it generates roughly 60% of its sales. New environmental regulations from the Obama administration have largely saddled the mining industry.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, EBAY: Shares of eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) were up more than 0.6% after the company's stock received an upgrade from investment firm Piper Jaffray. Despite the upgrade, the investment firm said it does have concerns about the company's business practices, as it remains behind its ecommerce competitors like com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Still, the bank set a target price of $30, which represents more than 10% upside from today's closing price.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, LCI: Shares of Lannett Company Inc. (NYSE: LCI) surged nearly 13% this morning after the generic drug manufacturer planned to purchase Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1.23 billion. The target company is the U.S. generic drug unit of UCB SA (OTCMKTS: UCBJF). Following news of the deal, Lannett raised its 2016 and 2017 outlooks.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, TWTR: Shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) were up more than 1.7% on news the microblogging firm is boosting its search for a new chief executive. The company's board of directors met today to discuss its plans to replace interim CEO Jack Dorsey, the company's co-founder. Dorsey replaced former CEO Dick Costolo, who resigned in June.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Is This a Bear Market? This Indicator Says Yes
- U.S. Dollar Drops as Global Stock Markets Decline
- Oil Price Forecast Shows Oil Headed for a Rebound
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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.