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Good morning! For Oct. 29, 2015, here is the top stock market news and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Thursday) dipped 80 points after the U.S. Commerce Department reported a third-quarter GDP reading of 1.5% and on news a December rate hike was back on the table. Economists anticipated a Q3 GDP reading of 1.6%, suggesting a quarter-over-quarter decline for the country. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims came in higher than the expected total of 265,608.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 198 points as investors parsed through Wednesday's FOMC statement to gain insight on when the central bank might increase interest rates. The U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates untouched during its seventh meeting this year, but left open the possibility that monetary policymakers may hike the benchmark rate in December.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- Stock Market Today: Weekly jobless claims and updates on weekly natural gas inventories will take a backseat to the third-quarter GDP release from the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart will speak on monetary policy and offer his take on the interest rate debate.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were down marginally this morning after a surge on Wednesday. December futures for WTI crude were off about 1.0% to hit $45.46 per barrel, while Brent crude slipped 1.2% to trade at $48.43 per barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) helped boost prices yesterday on news crude inventories increased by 3.4 million barrels last week, in line with analyst expectations. That said, the figure was still below the 4.1 million barrel rise forecast by the American Petroleum Institute. Here's a detailed breakdown of yesterday's big oil price gains.
- Earnings Report No. 1, MA: Shares of Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) dipped 0.5% after the company reported third-quarter earnings before the bell. The company reported earnings of $0.89 per share on top of $2.541 billion in revenue. Consensus expectations called for an EPS of $0.88 on revenue of $2.542 billion. Despite the in-line top and bottom line figures, the firm reported a decline in profits due to rising costs.
- Earnings Report No. 2, SBUX: After the bell, coffee giant Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) will report earnings. Consensus expectations call for an EPS of $0.44 on revenue of roughly $4.89 billion. With strong growth in China over the first two quarters, warning bells have been ringing for the company after the country devalued its economy in August and the dollar continued to show gains around the globe.
- Earnings Report No. 3, LNKD: After the bell, LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) will report third-quarter earnings. The social networking giant is expected to post earnings of $0.47 per share on top of $756.7 million in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE), First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), Monster Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: MWW), Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: BIDU), and Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM).
Pre-Market Movers: PYPL, EBAY, AIG, GPRO, PFE, AGN
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, PYPL: Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL) fell 5.5% after the company released its first quarterly report in 12 years. The payment firm, which spun off from eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) in July, said profits and revenue both increased over the last years. However, its quarterly revenue of $2.26 billion was slightly below consensus expectations of $2.27 billion.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, AIG: Shares of American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) added more than 4.8% yesterday after activist investor Carl Icahn announced he has taken a significant stake in the firm. The hedge fund manager is pushing the company – which nearly collapsed in 2008 during the Great Recession – to break up. Icahn wants the firm to spin off its life and mortgage divisions into public companies. AIG shares slipped 0.2% in pre-market hours.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, GPRO: Shares of GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) cratered to a 52-week low after the company reported big top and bottom line misses during its third-quarter earnings report after the bell. GPRO stock fell nearly 18% in pre-market hours. Of course, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald explained just a few weeks ago trouble was ahead for the camera manufacturer. Read Keith's insight and learn how you can identify other companies like GoPro that shouldn't be trading at eye-popping levels.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 4, AGN: Botox-maker Allergan Plc. (NYSE: AGN) could be purchased by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), the largest U.S. drug maker, according to a late-night report by The Wall Street Journal. The deal could easily be the market's largest takeover deal of the year. Allergan currently has a market capitalization of $113 billion. Shares of Allergan were up more than 10%, while PFE stock was up nearly 2.5%.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Q3 GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Dennis Lockhart speaks at 9:10 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Pending Home Sales Index 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.
- 7-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.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
Follow us on Twitter @moneymorning.
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.