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Good morning! For Dec. 1, 2015, here is the top stock market news and stocks to watch…
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Tuesday) added 68 points ahead of a monthly vehicle sales report and a busy day of manufacturing reports. Investors are also waiting to hear the results of today's meeting among members of the European Central Bank. The markets anticipate the ECB will boost its trillion-euro bond-buying program to boost its stagnating economy.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 78 points on Cyber Monday, the largest online retail shopping day of the year. Retail stocks were in focus after shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) slumped more than 1% after reporting an outage on its website due to overwhelming customer traffic. The outage caused a shockwave across the sector and paralyzed other websites of retail companies.
Overall, stocks finished higher in November, marking the second-consecutive month of positive gains. The markets have remained resilient in the face of multiple terror attacks in Europe and Africa and the worst week for Chinese stocks since mid-August.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: A busy day of economic data and earnings reports feature two U.S. manufacturing reports and an update on construction spending. All eyes are fixed on China, as the world's second-largest economy announces its November PMI report on the same day Germany releases a similar report.
- Cyber Monday Surge: It was another great year for Internet retailers, as American shoppers avoided the malls and traffic jams and stayed home to make holiday purchases on their computers and mobile devices. According to the digital research arm of Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), cyber sales were expected to jump more than 12% compared to the same shopping holiday last year.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were ticking downward ahead of a critical meeting by OPEC members to discuss the ongoing glut of crude on the global markets and whether they will slash production any time soon or stand pat to protect market share. January WTI prices fell 0.1% to hit $41.60 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – slipped 0.4% to hit $44.42.
Earnings Outlook: MRVL, CYBX, ASNA, GWRE, PLCE, BMO, BOBE
- Earnings Report No. 1, MRVL: After the market close, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) will report earnings. The tech company is expected to report per-share earnings of $0.13 on top of $728.6 million in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, CYBX: Before the bell, Cyberonics Inc. (Nasdaq: CYBX) will report fiscal second-quarter earnings. The company is expected to report an EPS of $0.69 on top of $82.13 million.
- Additional companies reporting earnings today include Ascena Retail Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ASNA), Guidewire Software Inc. (NYSE: GWRE), Childrens Place Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCE), Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), and Bob Evans Farms Inc. (Nasdaq: BOBE).
Stocks to Watch: UNH, T, AMZN, MFRM
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, UNH: Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) were ticking lower ahead of its investor day today. The downturn comes on news the firm expects 2016 revenue to fall short of Wall Street expectations. The company said its commitment to the Obamacare healthcare exchanges are slashing into its profits.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, T: Costs of data plans are going up. Telecom giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced plans to hike the price of "unlimited" data plans that had been grandfathered in from previous contracts of customers dating back to 2011. The new contract will require customers to pay $35 per month, a five-dollar hike from previous plans. AT&T does not offer these plans for other customers. T stock added 0.3% ahead of today's trading session.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, AMZN: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) added more than 1% in early market hours on news the e-commerce giant saw record sales for its tech gadgets, like the Fire tablet, Fire TV, and Echo assistant, over the marathon shopping weekend.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, MFRM: In deal news, Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: MFRM) announced plans to purchase the holding company that owns mattress retailer Sleepy's for nearly $780 million. The news pushed MFRM shares up almost 8% this morning.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Gallup US ECI at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 12:45 p.m.
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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.