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For Dec. 22, 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 (Tuesday) suggested the market will open 22 points higher than yesterday on news that the U.S. economy expanded in the third quarter by 2%. The growth was slightly higher than economist consensus expectations.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 123 points because of solid gains in large, multinational banking stocks. But the continued downturn in Brent crude oil prices – which hit an 11-year low – weighed down the energy sector. Oil prices have been plummeting because of a growing international glut and a rising U.S. dollar due to the Fed rate hike.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: On Tuesday, investors will analyze the third revision of Q3 U.S. GDP reports by the Commerce Department. In addition, traders are setting their positions on crude oil ahead of Thursday's short trading session and Friday's market closure in observance of the Christmas holiday. Trading volumes are expected to remain subdued this week.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were rising from 11-year lows as the markets continue to face a double challenge of a global supply glut and a stronger U.S. dollar. January WTI prices were up 0.6% at $36.02 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – was flat at $36.36.
Earnings Outlook: NKE, CAG, MU, PAYX, CAMP
- Earnings Report No. 1, NKE: After the bell, Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) will report fiscal second-quarter earnings. The shoe and apparel manufacturer is expected to report per-share earnings of $0.85 on top of $7.808 billion in revenue. NKE stock was up 0.5% in pre-market hours.
- Earnings Report No. 2, CAG: This morning, shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) were up more than 0.7% despite falling short of earnings expectations. The food producer announced an adjusted EPS of $0.58, $0.02 under Wall Street's expectations. The firm blamed a stronger dollar for weighing down its international revenue.
- Additional companies reporting earnings today include Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX), and CalAmp Corp. (Nasdaq: CAMP).
Stocks to Watch: F, VRX, WBA, CMG, SCTY
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, F: Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) climbed 1.3% on news that the company is collaborating with Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) on the tech giant's self-driving, autonomous vehicles, according to a report by Yahoo! Finance. The companies are expected to announce their partnership during the upcoming Las Vegas Auto Show.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, VRX: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) are under new pressure on news that the company will take a $150 million hit to its bottom line in a new distribution deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA). The stock has been under renewed pressure following a new downgrade and significantly lowered company guidance. Late last week, Valeant lowered its Q4 outlook and guided Q1 fiscal 2016 sales and earnings below Wall Street estimates. Here's where VRX stock is headed this week and in 2016.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, CMG: Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) were off 1.5% in pre-market hours after the casual dining giant received a downgrade from an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). The firm received a "Neutral" rating from the investment bank. Analysts are waiting for the company's next earnings report before it makes another decision.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, SCTY: SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY) announced yesterday that it will no longer operate in Nevada if state regulators pass new laws that would impact net metering, a process that enabled businesses and residences with solar systems to obtain tax credits for additional energy produced. SCTY shares were down 0.7% this morning.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Corporate Profits at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.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
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.