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Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Thursday) were down 38 points as investors took some gains off the table ahead of the FOMC meeting interest rate announcement. This morning, weekly jobless claims totaled 264,000, beating consensus expectations of 275,000.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 140 points as investors seemed less expectant of an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve in the wake of weak inflation figures.
So, will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? Don't be surprised if it does, says Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. They've been wrong before on the economy and the recovery, and they're prone to making mistakes again. But if they do raise rates, here is a breakdown of the best types of stocks to own in the event of a rate increase.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: This afternoon, the Fed Open Market Committee will report its decision on whether to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. The economic calendar also includes the August report on U.S. housing starts, weekly jobless claims, weekly natural gas storage levels, and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index.
- Republican Debate: The 2016 Republican presidential candidates sparred in the GOP debate on Wednesday night, with Donald Trump and others trading barbs over issues ranging from immigration to the Iranian nuclear deal. Here's a critical question for candidates with little-to-no political experience, like Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Dr. Ben Carson: Do you need elected experience to be president? Here's how these candidates stack up against other presidents who lacked political experience before they took control of the executive office.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were down on news that Japan's exports slowed down for the second consecutive month in August. The news raises fresh concerns that the economic slowdown in China is retarding growth in the Asia-Pacific region. This morning, WTI crude oil prices slipped 0.8% this morning to $46.78, while Brent oil prices fell 1.2% to hit $49.15.
- Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings include Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD), Tibco Software Inc. (Nasdaq: TIBX), and Marcus Corp. (NYSE: MCS).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: ORCL, CVC, BA
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, ORCL: Shares of Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) fell more than 1.2% this morning on news the company's first-quarter profits slipped. The firm declared a double-digit decline of software license agreements, rising costs, and falling sales. The company also cited Forex concerns due to a rising U.S. dollar, which impacted its revenue abroad.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, CVC: European telecom giant Altice SA (OTCMKTS: ATCEY) will purchase Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) for roughly $17.7 billion, including debt, according to The New York Times. Shares of CVC jumped more than 15% in pre-market hours.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, BA: Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) were fluctuating this morning after the company reported that demand for wide-body aircraft is falling, which has affected the company's booking sheet and its backlog.
Stocks to Watch Today: AAPL, GOOG, EXPE, OWW, BUD, TAP, SBMRY
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, AAPL: Tech giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has purchased digital mapping company for Mapsense for $25 million to $30 million. According to a report by Re/code, the company made the purchase in order to compete against tech rival Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL). Its Apple Maps platform was a staggering failure during its launch in 2012. The Mapsense startup is expected to help the company expand its capabilities on its next-generation mobile and wearable technologies. AAPL stock slipped 0.6% in pre-market hours.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, EXPE: The world's largest online travel booking site Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) has won approval from the U.S. Justice Department to purchase rival Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: OWW) for $1.3 billion. The antitrust approval will not require any sales of assets. The deal puts pressure on its chief rival Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) and emerging participants like Google. Shares of Orbitz rose nearly 6.5% yesterday.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, BUD: Shares of Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA (NYSE ADR: BUD), Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP), and SABMiller Plc. (OTCMKTS ADR: SBMRY) all surged on Wednesday after news of a possible merger between the companies. However, the $250 billion deal might be dead on arrival when it seeks approval from the U.S. Justice Department. In a conversation with The Washington Post, Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, called the deal a terrible idea and said regulators would have "grave concerns over their power to control price… and the effects on the craft-brewing industry." BUD shares were down 0.8% this morning.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Current Account at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 7-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2 p.m.
- FOMC Forecasts at 2 p.m.
- Fed Chair Press Conference at 2:30 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 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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