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Good morning! For Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, here are your Dow futures today, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Dow futures were down 18 points ahead of this morning's report from the U.S. Labor Department on the October unemployment rate. Markets around the world were a bit skittish as uncertainty continues to revolve around the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's next possible rate hike. [Editor's Note: Here is our forecast for a Fed rate hike in December.] This morning, merger mania continued in the biotech and healthcare sectors. British biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE ADR: AZN) announced plans to purchase U.S. biotech firm ZS Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ZSPH) for $2.7 billion.
On Thursday, the Dow was off four points as rate-increase chatter preluded Friday's jobs report. Markets were slightly weighed down by mixed earnings reports, including dismal quarterly figures from chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor reported the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits increased more than economists had anticipated.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Today, investors will be checking back with Money Morning to read into the Labor Department's announcement on the October jobs report. Economist consensus anticipates the U.S. unemployment rate will remain at 5.1%. That figure will be critical to the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision in December on whether or not to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. No matter what today's report indicates, the Fed will still review two updates on the Consumer Price Index and the November unemployment report before the December FOMC meeting. So, what is the Federal Reserve thinking of doing with interest rates right now? Here's the latest clues into the thinking of Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
- Oil Outlook: Supply concerns continue to rattle oil prices and trader sentiment as a glut continues to build at domestic receiving facilities; however, this morning markets saw a slight uptick in prices. December WTI oil prices added 0.3% to hit $45.49 per barrel, while Brent crude prices gained 0.5% to hit $48.21. Investors today will look out for the weekly rig count provided by Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) to determine if production is on the decline in the United States.
Earnings Outlook: HUM, CI, CKH, HMSY, HZNO, TTI, EBIX
- Earnings Report No. 1, HUM: Before the bell, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) will report third-quarter earnings. Wall Street expects that the health insurance firm will report earnings per share of $2.14 on top of $13.54 billion in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, CI: Health insurance giant Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) will report third-quarter earnings before the bell. The company is expected by the economic consensus for per-share earnings of $2.17 on $9.30 billion in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Ebix Inc. (Nasdaq: EBIX), Seacor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CKH), HMS Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: HMSY), Horizon Pharma Plc. (Nasdaq: HZNP), and TETRA Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TTI).
Pre-Market Movers: TWTR, DIS, MW
- Pre-Market Movers No. 1, TWTR: Shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) are under pressure after the company's CEO Jack Dorsey took heat from the Rev. Jesse Jackson over recent layoffs. According to USA Today, Jackson raised concerns that the company's recent layoffs have disproportionately affected Hispanics and African-Americans. The stock slumped 1.8% yesterday and remained flat in the pre-market hours.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 2, DIS: Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) dipped this morning after the company's revenue figures came in lower than Wall Street expectations. The entertainment giant announced that quarterly profits jumped roughly 7.3% as revenue improved at its resorts and media networks.
- Pre-Market Movers No. 3, MW: Shares of Men's Wearhouse Inc. (NYSE: MW) cratered more than 28% after the company offered a warning about its expected quarterly earnings report. The company is struggling as it shifts away from buy-one-get-three promotional events from its recent acquisition, Joseph A. Bank.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 7:30 a.m.
- U.S. October Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard speaks 4:15 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Grab Double-Digit Gains from This Analyst "Fail"
- Three Game Changers Fueling a Natural Gas Rebound
- Brace Yourself for This $2 Trillion Global Disruption
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