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For Oct. 12, 2015, here's your top stock market news and stocks to watch based on today's market moves…
How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow Jones: 17,131.86; +47.37; +0.28%
S&P 500: 2,017.46; +2.57; +0.13%
Nasdaq: 4,838.64; +8.17; +0.17%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Monday) gained 47 points in a day of light trading as investors kept their focus on a falling U.S. dollar and the growing expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates in October or December. With just one major company reporting earnings during a federal holiday (Columbus Day), traders bent an ear to speeches by three members of the Fed Open Market Committee.
Investors are looking at Tuesday, when banks begin to report quarterly earnings. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) reports tomorrow; Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) reports Wednesday. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) also report this week.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: Seven of 10 S&P sectors were in positive territory this afternoon, with energy and materials both sliding by more than 1%. Merger and acquisition activity was in focus today on news the privately owned Dell Inc. will purchase EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) for $67 billion. The deal is seen as a major push by Dell to advance into the hypercompetitive cloud computing market. Shares of EMC were up roughly 1.8%. Shares of VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW) – a software infrastructure company wholly owned by EMC – saw shares fall by 8.1% on concerns the firm will see an increased float of new shares when it is spun out after the deal.
- Fed Focus: Three members of the FOMC spoke on Monday about the central bank's monetary policy. In addition to comparing the ongoing debate about whether the Fed should raise rates to the O.J. Simpson trial, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said an influx of economic data in the coming weeks could justify a rate hike in December. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, one of the FOMC's more dovish members, said while he would prefer a delay until mid-2016, he suggested "wiggle room" existed for a possible hike this year. The statements of both men – who have recently held different opinions on monetary policy – parrot statements by Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, who suggested the bank is still targeting a rate hike this year. Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard gives a speech later today.
- Oil Prices Slip: Oil prices saw their largest single-day drop since Sept. 1 on Tuesday as traders took profits from the recent run up in prices, but still remained optimistic about global demand in 2016. November WTI oil prices fell 5.1% to hit $47.10 per barrel, while Brent crude prices dropped about 5.3% on the day. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) dipped 0.9% on the day, while Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) remained flat.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Tuesday, an important day of earnings results complements a speech by Federal Reserve hawk and non-voting member James Bullard in the morning. On the global front, Germany will report its ZEW Economic Sentiment for October, while the UK announces CPI and PPI data. Following a slow day on the U.S. markets, expect both reports to influence Dow Jones Industrial Average futures before the market opens. Companies reporting earnings tomorrow include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), and Fastenal Co. (Nasdaq: FAST).
Stocks to Watch: FB, AMZN, BUD, SAB, LLY, REGN, AMGN
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, FB: Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) were up roughly 1% on news the company plans to expand its online commerce presence through a new shopping feature. The company is attempting to increase purchases on its mobile app in order to compete with Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Mobile retail remains a very small part of overall ecommerce – just 2% according to eMarketer – as consumers regularly complain about the slow process involved.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, BUD: Shares of Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (NYSE ADR: BUD) were off 0.4% on news the brewing giant has raised its offer for global rival SABMiller Plc. (LON: SAB).
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, LLY: Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) had their single largest decline since the height of the financial crisis. LLY stock fell nearly 8% after the drug manufacturer announced plans to halt further development of an experimental heart drug. Drug companies have been under pressure in recent weeks since legislators and presidential candidates have questioned the cost structure of certain advanced medications.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, REGN: In positive news for the healthcare sector, both shares of both Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN) and Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) saw gains of more than 3.5% after the FDA formally approved the companies' cholesterol medications.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- The Fastest Way to Profit from a $709 Billion Industry Shift
- Five Tech Stocks That Soared While the Markets Tanked
- Here's Where the Next Oil Sector Profits Will Be Made
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