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For Dec. 2, 2015, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch based on today's market moves…
S&P 500: 2,079.51; -23.12; -1.10%
Nasdaq: 5,123.22; -33.08; -0.64%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Wednesday) fell more than 158 points after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen bolstered the case for an interest rate hike in December but said the event would still rely on data to justify the central bank's decision. Oil prices slumped further on already bad news that the U.S. manufacturing sector is weakening. The Fed's Beige Book suggested evidence of a sector-wide contraction was not an aberration.
The Nasdaq turned downward in the afternoon, despite some solid performances from a number of its biggest companies. Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) both hit new intraday records. Meanwhile, shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) fell 0.02% and 0.8% on the day.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: All 10 S&P sectors were negative, with energy stocks and utilities stocks hit the hardest. Oil prices cratered below $40 for the first time since August as a struggling U.S. manufacturing sector and a bearish EIA supply report weighed on trader sentiment. January WTI prices fell 4.6% to hit $39.94 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – slipped 4.4% to hit $42.49. High-volume stocks Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) fell 2.8% and 2.3% on the day, respectively, and were the biggest drags on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which slipped back into negative territory for the year. Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) cratered 7.8%. Here's everything you need to know about today's slump in oil prices.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Thursday, investors will listen to speeches from three members of the Federal Reserve, including chairwoman Janet Yellen. Investors will also react to the weekly jobless claims released by the U.S. Labor Department ahead of Friday's critical November unemployment report. Companies set to report quarterly earnings tomorrow include Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA), Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO), Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG), and Medtronic Plc. (NYSE: MDT).
Stocks to Watch: DAL, AAL, YHOO, GS
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, DAL: It was a positive day for airline stocks, as the NYSE Airline Index gained more than 1.2%. The sector surged on news that Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) reported it earned more per mile last month than during the same period in 2014. DAL stock was up 1.4%, while American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) saw shares gain as buyback rumors continued to swell.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, YHOO: Shares Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) surged 5.8% on news the company's board of directors will consider selling portions of the company as it struggles to build organically under the helm of CEO Marissa Mayer. The firm has seen its advertising market share erode as competitors Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) dominate the space. Here's a breakdown of what this means for YHOO stock and tech investors in the future.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, GS: Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) were one of the largest weights on the Dow Jones Industrial Average today, as the broader financial sector saw declines. Although Yellen says the central bank will rely on data in order to make a decision on whether to raise rates this month, the truth is Goldman Sachs is the true man behind the curtain. As we explain in a can't-miss report, Goldman Sachs alumni are now an overwhelming influence on the central bank thanks to a number of voting appointments made behind closed doors. Get the lowdown on Goldman's manipulative power here.
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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.