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For Jan. 15, 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: 15,988.08; -390.97; -2.39%
S&P 500: 1,880.29; -41.55; -2.16%
Nasdaq: 4,488.42; -126.59; -2.74%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday) fell 385 points to its lowest level since October 2014 as the global sell-off accelerated on the back of concerns about China's growing debt problems and a plunge in global oil prices. China's currency manipulation remains a major problem for the global markets, as we explain here.
On the economic front, it was another tough day for U.S. data. Here's a snapshot of the bad numbers today:
- The Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.1% in December. Excluding volatile autos and gasoline, sales were unchanged. Economists expected a 0.4% rise amid lower gasoline prices and an improving labor market.
- The Producer Price Index fell 0.2% in December after rising 0.3% in November. The read suggests inflation remains subdued.
- Industrial production for December fell 0.4%. Capacity utilization was 76.5%, slightly lower than consensus estimates of 76.9%. November's read was revised downward to 76.9% from 77.0%.
According to Money Morning Technical Trading Specialist D.R. Barton, the Dow Jones Industrial Average could test levels of 15,370. If the markets are heading in that direction, here's what you should do to prepare.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Today: All 10 major S&P sectors and all 30 Dow component stocks fell today, with tech and energy stocks taking a massive hit. Small-cap stocks continued to plunge as well, with the Russell 2000 falling more than 1.8%. Shares of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) slumped more than 6.4%, while Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) fell 3.6% despite both firms reporting earnings in line with Wall Street expectations.
- Oil in Focus: Crude oil prices collapsed to 12-year lows as traders panicked about a global glut in supply, curtailed demand, and expectations that Iran's export sanctions will be lifted next week. February WTI prices slumped 5.7% to hit $29.42 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude dipped 6.3% to reach $28.94. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) both fell 2% on the day. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors says Saudi Arabia has been pumping oil at record levels for one reason that few commentators understand: They want to punish Iran at the expense of the global markets.
- On Tap Next Week: On Monday, markets will be closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. On Tuesday, banking stocks will be in focus before the bell as several prominent investment and commercial firms report quarterly earnings reports. A light economic calendar features the monthly Housing Market Index. Companies set to report quarterly earnings include International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), and Cree Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE).
Stocks to Watch: CMG, WYNN, DIS, BCS, INTC
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, CMG: Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) were one of the few bright spots on the market. Shares gained more than 4.6% after the firm announced plans to temporarily shut down its stores for a short period while it has a company-wide meeting to address food safety concerns.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, WYNN: Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN) gained more than 13% after the company reported strong quarterly earnings. The company has been under pressure over the last 12 months due to its exposure to gaming revenue in China.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, DIS: Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) fell on news that Barclays Plc. (NYSE ADR: BCS) has downgraded the global entertainment company and lowered its price target by $10 to $89 a share. The downgrade comes due to ongoing concerns about the financial exposure it has to its ESPN With millions of Americans cutting back on cable services, ESPN is one of the first channels most exposed.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, INTC: Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) were the heaviest weight on the S&P 500 today. Shares plunged by 9.1% on forward-looking concerns about the personal computer industry.
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.