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Stock Futures Today
Dow futures today (Friday) forecast a 25-point decline as the markets moved lower over concerns regarding whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week. The biggest Fed question on investors' minds remains "Will the Fed raise interest rates?" – and their next chance to do so is at next week's two-day policy meeting that ends Sept. 17.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 76 points as shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) rallied after hedge fund manager Peter Tepper told CNBC that shares of the tech giant were trading at a bargain. Apple stock was up more than 2% today; however, Tepper is a little late to argue that AAPL is a great buy. Yesterday, we outlined why Apple stock was a must-own holding in your portfolio after the company's product event in San Francisco. Read all about it right here.
Meanwhile, biotech stocks surged, with the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (.NIB) gaining roughly 1.8% on the day. Following Apple's strong day on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq was biotech giant Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), which added 3.4%.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Investors will keep an eye today on two critical pieces of economic data. This morning, watch for the Producer Price Index and a report on consumer sentiment. Both reports will offer some insight into the direction of inflation in the U.S. economy. With the unemployment rate sitting at 5.1%, the Federal Reserve will not likely take action and raise interest rates unless there is some upward trajectory toward its inflation target of 2%.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices fell this morning after investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) slashed its forecasts, citing oversupply concerns in the markets. This morning, WTI prices were off roughly 2.3% to reach $44.84. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices declined about 2.1% to $47.86 per barrel. Optimism in the energy sector is rising, despite falling prices. This morning, Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) received an upgrade from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) after the investment bank dismissed concerns about the oil giant's dividend and said the company's operational woes are already priced into the stock.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting quarterly earnings reports include Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), IGATE Corp. (Nasdaq: IGTE), and Casey's General Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: CASY).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: AVP, RH, PFE
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, AVP: Shares of Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) slipped nearly 10% in pre-market hours as conflicting reports continue to cycle through the news on whether the struggling beauty products manufacturer is in talks about a potential sale to private equity firms.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, RH: Shares of Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH) gained more than 2% this morning after the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations and raised its one-year outlook.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, PFE: Shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) were down this morning after a London judge ruled against the company's patent on its drug Lyrica. Following the ruling, the company will only be able to maintain a patent to address pain. Currently, the drug's patent for anxiety disorder and epilepsy have expired, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Stocks to Watch Today: ZSPH, FSNR, GE
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, ZSPH: Shares of ZS Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ZSPH) gained more than 5% this morning on news the company is in talks to sell itself to Swiss drugmaker Actelion.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, FNSR: Time for a leadership change. This morning, the CEO of Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) stepped down. The board of directors offered no explanation; however, the networking firm did miss quarterly earnings expectations and slashed its yearly outlook.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, GE: Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), said yesterday during an interview with CNBC that concerns about the Chinese economy are overblown and investors should still anticipate high growth rates by comparison to the rest of the world. General Electric's stock is down more than 6% this month due to exposure to volatility brought on by concerns over China. In fact, the stock price has now fallen into "discount" territory. Visit here to read about GE and two other "discount" stocks that investors should be buying at today's prices.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- $200 Trillion Debt Bubble to Spark Massive Sell-Off
- Cash In on a Strong Dollar and Weak Stocks
- How to Double Your Money: A Step-by-Step Guide
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