Good morning! For Dec. 11, 2015, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday) were forecasting a 39-point decline as traders weighed a lackluster trading session for markets in Asia and Europe. The Chinese yuan hit a four-and-a-half-year low against the U.S. dollar, raising new concerns about the impact on trade between the United States and the world's second-largest economy, as the U.S. trade deficit between the two nations expands due to currency manipulation and devaluation.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 82 points and broke a three-day losing streak. However, the markets pared gains in the afternoon on concerns of falling oil prices, which currently hover near seven-year lows. Weekly jobless claims hit a five-month high, while import prices again fell, raising concern about the lack of import inflation.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: A busy day of economic data includes the November PPI-Final Demand report, monthly updates on retail sales and consumer sentiment, and the Baker Hughes Inc.(NYSE: BHI) weekly rig count.
- Fed Focus: Investors are also preparing for next week's Fed Open Market Committee meeting, where members of the U.S. Federal Reserve will decide whether to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) issued a report that projected an acceleration in wage growth in the United States during 2016. That's one of many reasons why leading gurus anticipate the central bank to take action next week. Here are the five most convincing arguments in favor of an interest rate hike.
- Obamacare Blues: Although the Affordable Healthcare Act is imploding, the federal government is looking for ways to increase enrollment of younger, healthier Americans to subsidize higher-risk patients. According to research from the Kaiser Family Fund, the Obamacare tax penalty for not having insurance is going to jump by 50% in 2016, leaving the average American family on the hook for nearly $1,000 in fines. The report indicates the average penalty will amount to roughly $969.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were mixed this morning on concerns about a global glut and expectations the Fed will boost interest rates next week, a decision poised to boost the strength of the U.S. dollar. January WTI prices were up marginally at $36.78 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – fell 0.15% to hit $39.67. This morning, the International Energy Agency announced it expects the global glut will persist until the end of 2016 as OPEC continues to maintain high levels of production in order to defend market share.
Earnings Outlook: MMMB, QIHU
- No major U.S. companies are expected to report earnings on Friday. Investors can keep an eye out for earnings reports from lesser-known firms MamaMancini's Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS: MMMB) and Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NYSE: QIHU)
Stocks to Watch: GPRO, AAPL, ADBE, UTX, UPS, AMZN, EBAY
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, GPRO: Shares of GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) added another 1.5% in pre-market hours on speculation that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) may consider purchasing the camera manufacturer. GPRO stock surged more than 11% on Thursday. AAPL stock was down marginally in pre-market hours.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, ADBE: Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) surged more than 5% after the software company beat Wall Street earnings expectations. Adobe reported an adjusted EPS of $0.62 on revenue of $1.31 billion. That surpassed per-share expectations of $0.60 on $1.3 billion in revenue.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, UTX: Shares of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) were up more than 1% in pre-market hours after its CEO Greg Hayes announced the company is beginning a two-year, $1.5 billion plan to slash costs. The tech stock has seen its market value fall by roughly 20% during Hayes' first year as the company's chief executive.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, UPS: The trend of online shopping isn't all fun and games for delivery companies. United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) has struggled to keep up with a massive surge of online sales from e-commerce sites like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY). The company has been heavily understaffed and has experienced a number of delivery disruptions in recent weeks. Last week, the company reported an online delivery rate of just 91%.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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