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Good morning! For Tuesday, Dec. 29, here are your stock market futures, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch...
Stock Futures Today
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures forecast a 65-point gain today ahead of the opening bell as oil prices stabilized after a sharp downturn yesterday. Today's session features the busiest day of data during this short trading week. Economists anticipate an increase in last month's trade deficit, an increase in home prices, and a jump in December consumer confidence.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 23 points to kick off the final week of trading in 2015. Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were in the red Monday, with energy and materials leading the downturn.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock gained 1.9% yesterday on news that it added three million new customers to its Amazon Prime membership in December.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Don't expect very large trading volumes today as traders prepare for the short week ahead. The U.S. economic calendar features an update on international trade, the S&P Case-Shiller Index, and a monthly update on consumer confidence.
- What Time Do Markets Close on New Year's Eve? As traders prepare for New Year's Day and the start to 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.
- Gold in Focus: Where are gold prices going in 2016? For 2015, the price of the yellow metal fell nearly 10%, but next year could be very different. Money Morning Resource Investing Specialist Peter Krauth offers critical insight into what to expect next for gold prices.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices were on the rise this morning as falling demand boosted global supply. February's WTI prices were up 0.4% to close at $36.95 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude - priced in London - added 0.3% to hit $36.72.
- Earnings Outlook: No major U.S. companies are expected to report earnings today.
Stocks to Watch: PBY, BRDCY, IEP, AAPL, SF, ICON, FDX, UPS
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, PBY: Shares of Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) are moving again on news that Carl Icahn's latest takeover offer is higher than Bridgestone Corp.'s (OTCMKTS ADR: BRDCY) offer for the auto parts and service company. Icahn Enterprises LP (NYSE: IEP) shocked the markets by offering $18.50 per share, beating Bridgestone's offer of $17. The new deal is worth a little more than $1 billion and will lead Pep Boys to pay a $39.5 million breakup fee with Bridgestone to terminate a previous deal.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) are in focus on news that the company is on pace to deliver about 75 million iPhone units in its first fiscal quarter. Analysts at Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) projected these new estimates after crunching data from two Chinese provinces where the company manufacturers its smartphones.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, ICON: Shares of Iconix Brand Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ICON) dropped roughly 24% after the retail owner of Sharper Image revealed that it is the subject of a U.S. Securities Exchange Commission investigation into its accounting practices related to specific joint ventures. The company said that it expects it will be able to avoid bankruptcy or a credit event by refinancing debt with creditors in the short term.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, FDX: Shares of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) are down on news that the company was forced to deliver packages on Christmas Day due to heavy winter weather. The company and its rival United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) have experienced significant delays during the holiday season due to a combination of bad weather and extremely heavy demand fueled by a surge in online retail.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- International Trade in Goods at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
- Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
- State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Auction 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
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.