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Why Is the Dow Jones Industrial Average Falling Today?

For Jan. 15, 2016, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch…

Stock Futures Today

dow jones industrial averageFutures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday) forecast a 345-point decline as concerns about global growth and oil prices pummel stocks. Nearly every one of the 30 stocks on the Dow Jones was down in pre-market hours. The Shanghai Composite fell more than 3.5% and entered bear market territory.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones rose 227 points as energy stocks rebounded and markets celebrated comments from members of the U.S. Federal Reserve. On the economic front, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard announced that inflation expectations might alter his outlook for additional interest rate hikes later this year.

Top News in the Stock Market Today

  • The Stock Market Today: Banking stocks will be in focus before the bell as several prominent investment and commercial firms report quarterly earnings. A packed economic calendar features the December 2015 reports for the Producer Price Index – Final Demand, Retail Sales, and Industrial Production. Today's retail sales report (ex-auto, ex-gas) will offer insight into the strength of the holiday shopping season. Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) will offer insight into domestic oil production trends, and three members of the Federal Reserve will speak. Pay close attention to remarks by San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, who will participate in a Q&A session and provide his economic forecast for 2016.
  • Oil Outlook: Oil prices crashed below $30 per barrel again this morning as markets prepare for Iran to bring its production back onto the market. February WTI prices slumped 5.7% to hit $29.42 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude dipped 4.2% to reach $29.57. Falling oil prices have pounded the currencies of oil exporting nations. This morning, the Canadian dollar fell to a 13-year low, while the Aussie dollar slipped to a near-seven-year low.

Earnings Outlook: WFC, PNC, BLK, C, FAST, USB

  • Earnings Report No. 1, WFC: Shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) slipped more than 1.7% despite news that the company beat quarterly earnings expectations. The firm reported per-share earnings of $1.03, besting expectations by one penny. The firm also beat revenue expectations of $21.8 billion. Despite what the talking heads have said about surprise earnings reports from the banks this year, Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani has a warning that you must read…
  • Earnings Report No. 2, PNC: Before the bell, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) announced fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The regional banking firm announced per-share earnings of $1.87 on top of $3.8 billion in revenue. That beat Wall Street expectations of $1.80 on top of $3.7 billion in revenue. Despite the positive news, the firm's stock was up less than 0.1%.
  • Earnings Report No. 3, BLK: This morning, BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The firm fell short of Wall Street top-line expectations but topped revenue expectations. BlackRock reported an EPS of $4.75 on top of $2.86 billion. Wall Street analysts projected an EPS of $4.82 on top of $2.83 billion in revenue.
  • Additional companies that will report earnings today include Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Fastenal Co. (Nasdaq: FAST), and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB).

Stocks to Watch: INTC, AAPL, GS

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, INTC: Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) were off 5.7% after the company reported strong fourth-quarter earnings but issued a weak first-quarter outlook on Thursday afternoon. The company reported an EPS of $0.74, crushing analyst expectations of $0.63.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were off 2.4% on China concerns and expectations that demand is softening for its iPhones and other gadgets.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, GS: Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) were sliding this morning after the company announced it will pay $5 billion to settle accusations that it sold faulty mortgage bonds during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The banking giant said the settlement will cut into its upcoming fourth-quarter earnings report by roughly $1.5 billion.

Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
  • Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 a.m.
  • New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley speaks at 9 a.m.
  • Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
  • Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
  • Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
  • San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank John Williams speaks at 11 a.m.
  • Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
  • Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Rob Kaplan speaks at 1 p.m.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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