Good morning! For Friday, Nov. 20, here are the top stories moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average today, including earnings reports, pre-market movers, and more…
Stock Futures Today
Dow futures were up 69 points ahead of opening bell this morning as investors keep an eye on manufacturing data and statements by key members of the U.S. Federal Reserve. St. Louis Fed Chief James Bullard and New York Fed President William Dudley will both likely make the case for a December interest rate hike. CME Group FedWatch places the odds of a rate hike next month at 71.7%.
On Thursday, the Dow slipped a little more than four points after a busy day of economic data and stock debuts. Eight out of ten S&P sectors saw gains, with healthcare and energy stocks the lone decliners. The healthcare sector received a massive shock after UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) issued a profit warning and announced it might depart from the Affordable Healthcare Exchange by 2017. Meanwhile, shares of Match Group Inc. (Nasdaq: MTCH) added 23% in its trading debut. Here's a recap of the "Match.com IPO"…
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: On Friday, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard and New York Fed President William Dudley will give speeches on the economy and monetary policy just hours before the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index. Bullard is set to hit the stage at 9 a.m. ET in Fort Smith, Ark. Dudley's statements will follow at 11:15 a.m. ET from his location at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York.
- Stimulus Watch: Earlier this morning, European Central Bank Mario Draghi announced that his team of policy makers are prepared to take action should their current strategy on monetary policy fail to stimulate the stagnate Eurozone economy. Many analysts project the euro could fall to parity with the dollar next year as monetary policy strategies of the Fed and the ECB appear to be heading in opposite directions.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were mixed this morning and are trading near three-month lows. December WTI prices dipped 1.1% to hit $40.09 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – gained 0.1% to hit $44.25. Later today, keep an eye on WTI oil prices as Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) reports its weekly rig count.
Earnings Outlook: ANF, FL, HIBB, MCP, SIRO, HRG, CCRC
- Earnings Report No. 1, ANF: This morning, retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) will report third-quarter earnings. The company is expected by Wall Street analysts to report per-share earnings of $0.19 on top of $869.0 billion in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, FL: Before the bell, Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) will report third-quarter earnings. The shoe retailer is expected to report an EPS of $0.94 on $1.784 billion in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB), Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP), Sirona Dental Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: SIRO), HRG Group Inc. (NYSE: HRG), and Country Style Cooking Restaurant Chain Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CCRC).
Stocks to Watch: SQ, GPS, NKE
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, SQ: Shares of Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) are in focus after the payment processing unicorn saw gains of more than 45% during its first day of trading. The mobile payment company opened trading at $9, but quickly shot up as investors piled in – even though Square has yet to report any revenue. That's not the only reason you should be wary of SQ stock…
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, GPS: Shares of apparel retailer Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) were down more than 1.6% after the firm slashed its 2015 profit forecast. The company said that a strong U.S. dollar and falling sales on its Gap and Banana Republic brands affected quarterly sales. GPS reported a third-quarter EPS of $0.63, in line with consensus earnings. However, the firm slashed its profit outlook from a range of $2.75 to $2.80 down to $2.38 to $2.42 per share.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, NKE: Shares of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) were flat despite news the shoe and apparel giant announced plans for a stock split and a massive stock buyback program. According to reports, the company's board of directors have authorized a $12 billion stock buyback plan and a 2-for-1 stock split. [Editor's Note: Here's how stock splits work and why companies do them…]
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Louis Federal Reserve Chair James Bullard speaks at 9 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Grab Double-Digit Gains from This Analyst "Fail"
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