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For Dec. 3, 2015, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch based on today's market moves…
How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
S&P 500: 2,049.62; -29.89; -1.44%
Nasdaq: 5,037.53; -85.70; -1.67%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Thursday) plunged 252 points after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi surprised the markets by cutting interest rates and boosting stimulus below Wall Street's expectations for the euro bloc's monetary intervention. Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered a statement that hardened analyst expectations for an interest rate hike during the FOMC meeting in two weeks. Here's more coverage on what the ECB decision means for your money.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market News: All 10 S&P sectors were negative today, with healthcare stocks again taking the biggest hit. It was another messy day for biotech giants Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), which saw shares fall by 1.6% and 2.9%, respectively. Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) were not able to extend their recent rally. VRX stock was off 2.7% on the day. Even though Valeant has rallied back from a massive sell-off, it's still down more than 60% in recent months. Here's why investors should avoid the recent hype.
- Monetary Mess: ECB head Mario Draghi announced the central bank planned to extend its stimulus package through mid-2017; however, the news sent the euro up $0.02 against the dollar as traders anticipate the pending FOMC meeting. If the Fed decides to hold off on tightening monetary policy, the dollar will likely experience further weakness against the euro.
- Energy in Focus: Oil prices rallied from yesterday's multimonth lows on news Saudi Arabia will look to provide greater stabilization between supply and demand. January contracts for WTI crude settled up 2.9% to hit $41.08 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – gained 3.2% to hit $43.84. The news wasn't enough to benefit multinational companies Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), which saw their respective shares fall nearly 1.4% and 1.5% on the day. Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) hit a 52-week low today, dropping 6.8%. OPEC's meeting is a bigger deal than you might think for energy stocks. Here's why.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Friday, the markets will be 100% focused on reaction to this morning's November unemployment report, released by the U.S. Labor Department. The announcement will play a central role in speculation on whether the Federal Reserve plans to raise rates. Companies set to report quarterly earnings tomorrow include Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG).
Stocks to Watch: FB, BKS, YHOO, BABA, GOOG, ZFGN
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, FB: Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) fell another 1.6% today after yesterday's announcement by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he and his wife plan to leave 99% of their company stock to charity over the course of their lifetimes. The Facebook stock price has fallen nearly 5% since hitting a recent 52-week high. Here's more on why the stock has fallen after his announcement.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, BKS: Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) were off more than 4.5% as the company prepares to report quarterly earnings after the bell. Wall Street anticipates a quarterly loss of $0.31 per share on revenue of $917.8 million.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 3.7% despite news activist shareholder Starboard has called for the technology giant to sell its web business "to the highest bidder" possible. This morning, The Wall Street Journal reported Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.(NYSE: BABA) wasn't interested in purchasing the business from Yahoo. However, Starboard's statement suggests Yahoo had planned on the sale during a meeting of its board of directors this week. The company plans on selling the business as it continues to lose market share to rivals Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) and Facebook.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, ZFGN: Shares of Zafgen Inc. (Nasdaq: ZFGN) plunged another 5.1% after falling more than 60% on Wednesday. The pharmaceutical company saw shares crater after the FDA announced it was placing the trials for an experimental obesity drug on hold until further review.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- The Best Market Crash Insurance You Can Buy
- Grab Triple-Digit Gains from This "Stealth" Tech Star
- The Real Reason for China's Insatiable Gold Lust
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.