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For Jan. 11, 2016, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch based on today's market moves…
How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow Jones: 16,398.57; +52.12; +0.32%
S&P 500: 1,923.67; +1.64; +0.09%
Nasdaq: 4,637.99; -5.64; -0.12%
China's stock market meltdown continued to weigh on the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Monday). Stocks were on the decline for a sixth-straight session before turning positive in the final hour. The Dow Jones gained 52 points even though the Chinese stock market tumbled another 5.3%, causing China's main index to close at a three-and-a-half-month low. Oil prices hit their lowest levels since 2003.
After the bell, the corporate earnings season unofficially begins with a report from aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA). Shares of Alcoa stock were off 1% ahead of today's earnings report. Over the weekend, news broke that the company has earned a $1.5 billion contract from global manufacturing giant General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE).
On the economic front, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart suggested there may not be enough reliable data to support an interest rate hike by the central bank in March. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Rob Kaplan will give a speech this evening on his outlook for the U.S. economy.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Today: Three of 10 major S&P sectors fell today, with materials and energy stocks sliding the most. Shares of Celgene Corp. (Nasdaq: CELG) dropped 5.5%, while shares McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) fell more than 10% after both firms offered weak 2016 profit outlooks. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (Nasdaq: IBB) fell 3.5%. Materials stocks also slumped – shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) fell 20.4%, while both Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and DuPont Co. (NYSE: DD) both dipped more than 2.8%.
- Oil Slump: Crude oil prices slumped again to their lowest levels since 2003. Oil prices are now off by more than 70% since mid-2014. February's WTI prices were off 5.3% at $31.41 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – fell 6% to hit $31.55. The sector's most active traders today were Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), which both fell by more than 1.3%. With oil prices at unfathomable lows, many investors don't know how to find the best oil stocks to buy in 2016. But don't go running away from the oil sector just yet.
- On Tap Tomorrow: The markets will continue to eye the Chinese markets and a business domestic economic calendar. Look for a monthly update to the NFIB Small Business Index and speeches by two members of the U.S. Federal Reserve – Stanley Fischer (Fed Vice Chair) and Jeffrey Lacker (Richmond). Companies set to report quarterly earnings include CSX Corp. (Nasdaq: CSX), IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), and Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS).
Stocks to Watch: GM, F, AAPL, M, YHOO, UA, MS
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, GM: Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) gained more than 2.4% despite news the company was in court to face a trial regarding the 2014 recall of vehicles over faulty ignition switches. This is the first of six lawsuits that GM will face. Shares of rival Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) gained more than 1.7% on the day.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) gained more than 1.6% as the company looked to recover from a brutal five-day stretch last week in which the stock fell 8%. In positive news, the tech giant announced its streaming music service obtained its 10-millionth subscriber in just six months.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, M: Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) surged more than 8% on news that activist hedge fund Starboard Value is pushing the company to spin off its real estate holdings. Over the weekend, the hedge fund sent a letter to the company's leaders, urging it to boost shareholder value through the real estate divestitures. Starboard also made news recently after its manager Jimmy Smith called for new leadership at Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, UA: Shares of Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) fell more than 6.7% after the sports apparel giant received a downgrade from "equal weight" to "underweight" from investment firm Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). The investment bank also slashed its price target for the stock from $103 per share to $62 per share.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Where We'll Find Our Biggest Profits This Year
- What a Chinese Stock Market Crash Means for Investors
- Your "Buy List" to Profit from Volatility in 2016
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.