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Good morning! For Monday, Dec. 28, here are your stock market futures, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 74 points as oil prices slumped again over the Christmas holiday. Trading volumes are expected to remain low today with many markets around the globe closed, including exchanges in London, Ireland, Australia, and Canada.
On Thursday, the Dow closed at its best one-week performance since mid-November, despite falling 50 points during the holiday-shortened trading session. Nine of the 10 S&P sectors declined on Christmas Eve. The Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500 all finished the week up more than 2.5%, fueled by a rally in energy stocks and other beaten-down sectors like materials.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: On Monday, the markets will face a light economic calendar, but one event is extremely important to watch this morning. Economists anticipate a continued contraction in the Dallas Fed manufacturing sector. This area of the nation is the heart of the U.S. energy sector, which remains under a severe crunch.
- Star Wars Watch: Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) were moving up this morning on news that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has set a new record for sales. The film has surpassed an incredible $1 billion in global box-office receipts in the shortest amount of time – just 12 days – according to media research firm Rentrak. The film nearly doubled the old Christmas Day record set by "Sherlock Holmes" in 2009.
- What Time Do Markets Close on New Year's Eve? As traders prepare for New Year's Day and the start of 2016, markets will close on Dec. 31 at their regular hour. The markets will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1, and regular trade will resume on Monday, Jan. 4.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices surged 9% last week as traders sought a price bottom after a statement by OPEC hinted that the world's largest oil cartel expects oil prices to rise over the next 18 months. However, prices cratered again this morning as WTI crude trades at a premium to Brent. December WTI prices were down 3.2% at $36.86 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – was off 2.4% at $36.97.
- Earnings Outlook: No major U.S. companies report earnings on Monday.
Stocks to Watch: KBIO, MBI, AGO, PEP, IEP, VRX, AMZN
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, KBIO: In the aftermath of hedge fund manager and former CEO Martin Shkreli's arrest on charges of securities fraud, the Nasdaq has informed KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: KBIO) that it will be delisted from the exchange. In addition to the arrest of Shkreli and the firm's former outside counsel Evan Greebel, officials cited the company's recent failure to file a quarterly earnings report by deadline as another reason for its delisting.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, MBI: Shares of MBIA Inc. (NYSE: MBI) surged more than 8% on Thursday after PREPA, a debt-ridden public utility company in Puerto Rico, agreed to restructure its debt payments. Shares of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE: AGO), another bond insurer, jumped nearly 2.5%.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, PBY: Wall Street is focusing on Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY), as the takeover battle between Carl Icahn and Bridgestone took bit of a turn on Thursday. Pep Boys said that Bridgestone Corp. (OTCMKTS ADR: BRDCY) has offered a superior deal for the auto parts and service company to the one offered by Icahn last week. The new deal saw Bridgestone boost its per-share offer from $15.50 to $17. The new offer values the company just short of $950 million. Icahn Enterprises LP (NYSE: IEP) had offered $16.50 last week and says it will beat any offer by Bridgestone by $0.10 up to $18.10 per share.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, VRX: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) were down more than 7% on news that CEO J. Michael Pearson is in very serious condition with a severe case of pneumonia. Pearson worked at McKinsey & Company for more than two decades before becoming CEO and chairman in 2010.
- Stocks to Watch No. 5, AMZN: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were up marginally this morning on news that the company added three million new customers to its Prime membership.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
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- Grab Triple-Digit Gains from This "Stealth" Tech Star
- The Real Reason for China's Insatiable Gold Lust