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For Oct. 26, 2015, here are your stock market futures, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today were down 20 points as investors prepare for a very busy week of economic data and a critical meeting of the U.S. central bank.
This morning, new home sales will be in focus as the housing market attempts to maintain its positive momentum. The home sales report comes a day ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's seventh monetary policy meeting of 2015. The Fed Open Market Committee is unlikely to raise interest rates in October, but it could change language on its statement regarding monetary policy.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 157 points as several tech giants crushed Wall Street earnings expectations, and traders cheered news the People's Bank of China would slash interest rates again in order to boost China's slowing economic growth. That is the sixth time that the Chinese central bank has cut its benchmark rate since November 2014.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Today, the U.S. Census Bureau will report new home sales for the month of September, while the Dallas Federal Reserve reports its October manufacturing business index. Month-over-month, new home sales are expected to decline by 0.4%, which could affect housing stocks today. On the international front, keep an eye out for updates on Germany's business climate and a trade balance figure from New Zealand, which has been dramatically affected by demand concerns in China.
- Fed Focus: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen plans to meet with Congress on Dec. 3. With inflation essentially non-existent, the central bank has maintained law interest rates for roughly seven years. As the FOMC meeting kicks off tomorrow, expectations remain low for a possible hike this month. Currently, economists project a rate hike in December, although futures markets suggest that the Fed will more likely take action in March 2016.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were up marginally this morning as concerns about demand remain in focus for traders. November futures for WTI crude were up about 0.6% to hit $44.87 per barrel, while Brent crude added 0.4% to trade at $48.20 per barrel.
Earnings Outlook: CHKP, CAKE
- Earnings Reports No. 1, CHKP: Before the bell, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) will report third-quarter earnings. Wall Street expectations call for earnings of $0.98 per share on revenue of $402.4 million.
- Earnings Reports No. 2, CAKE: After the market closes, Cheesecake Factory Inc. (Nasdaq: CAKE) reports third-quarter earnings. Consensus expectations for earnings per share sit at $0.56 on top of $535.1 million in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Rent-A-Center Inc. (Nasdaq: RCII), Sohu.com Inc. (Nasdaq: SOHU), and Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX).
Pre-Market Movers: AAPL, VRX, TWTR, BABA, MSFT
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) dipped roughly 1% this morning as the tech giant prepares to report earnings on Tuesday. Some traders are anticipating that a strong report could push the Nasdaq to record levels. Here is everything you need to know about the Q4 Apple earnings report ahead of time.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, VRX: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl. Inc. (NYSE: VRX) gained on Friday after a four-day stretch that saw the stock plunge by 46%. But, the stock is down another 13.6% this morning on news that embattled biotech giant has formed a committee to explore its relationship with Philidor Rx Services, a mail-order pharmacy that is facing increased scrutiny for accounting practices. Here's why the stock has collapsed, and why some short-sellers are calling VRX the next Enron.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, TWTR: Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), announced through a tweet that he is handing over $200 million in his own TWTR stock to employees. That has some people wondering: should I buy Twitter stock?
- Pre-Market Movers No. 4, BABA: Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) slipped 0.7% ahead of the firm's earnings report on Tuesday. Consensus expectations see a decline in second-quarter revenue growth as concerns about Chinese consumer spending weigh down expectations.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 5, MSFT: Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are down 0.5% this morning after the tech giant hit a record high for MSFT stock on Friday. MSFT stock jumped more than 10% after reporting a strong gain in revenue and the firm received several stock upgrades. The company also opened its first Microsoft store on New York City's Fifth Avenue. The location is being billed as its own response to the Apple Store.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
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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