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For Dec. 7, 2015, here are your stock market futures, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Monday) were down nine points ahead of a busy week of economic data that includes an update on inflation, November retail sales, and consumer sentiment. These major economic data points will continue to provide insight into the FOMC meeting on Dec. 15-16.
On Friday, the Dow Jones surged more than 369 points after a very positive jobs report and news that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has taken a more dovish approach to monetary policy than his actions indicated on Thursday. The Dow pushed back into positive territory for the year on news that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate sat at 5%, signifying "full employment," according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The news paves the way for the U.S. central bank to hike interest rates later this month during its final FOMC meeting of the year. Here's why a rate hike looks like a done deal.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: On Monday, investors will hear a speech from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, as he offers his views on whether or not the Fed should hike rates during the December FOMC meeting. In addition, keep an eye out for the Gallup Consumer Spending Measure and an update on consumer credit.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices slipped on news that OPEC members were unable to reach an agreement on limiting output levels in order to reduce an ongoing supply glut in the global crude markets. The oil-producing nations could not find an accord after Iran announced no plans to cut production as the producer begins to bring output back to the markets after years of limitations due to Western economic sanctions. January WTI prices fell 2.0% to hit $39.15 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – slipped 1.4% to hit $42.35. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors recently told readers what's next for oil prices after the OPEC meeting.
Earnings Outlook: HRB, UNFI, MTN, DRYS, MFRM, CENT
- Earnings Report No. 1, HRB: After the bell, H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) will report second-quarter earnings. The tax company is expected to report a quarterly earnings loss of -$0.49 per share on $127.72 million in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, UNFI: Later this afternoon, United Natural Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) will report first-quarter earnings. The natural foods distributor is expected by Wall Street to report an EPS of $0.69 on $2.094 billion in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN), DryShips Inc. (Nasdaq: DRYS), Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: MFRM), and Central Garden & Pet Co. (Nasdaq: CENT).
Stocks to Watch: PBY, IEP, YHOO, BABA, GMCR, CMG
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, PBY: Shares of Pep Boys-Manny Moe and Jack (NYSE: PBY) are on the rise on news that activist investor Carl Icahn has disclosed a 12.12% stake in the automotive repair and retail company. Icahn is urging Pep Boys to sell itself to Auto Plus, a company owned by his holding company Icahn Enterprises LP (Nasdaq: IEP).
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are in focus after the company's board of directors failed to decide on whether to sell its web business or if it should go ahead with a planned spin-off of its multibillion-dollar stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA).
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, GMCR: This morning, privately held JAB Holding Co. announced plans to purchase Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (Nasdaq: GMCR) for $13.9 billion. The deal carries a massive premium of 78% from Friday's closing price.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, CMG: Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) were off more than 8.3% this morning after investment firm Oppenheimer slashed its price forecast for the stock from $750 to $650. The outlook still represents a more than 20% upside from the pre-market trading price of $513 per share.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
- Labor Market Conditions Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 11:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
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- The Real Reason for China's Insatiable Gold Lust