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For Jan. 19, 2016, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average for today (Tuesday) forecast a 250-point gain despite news that China's economic growth slumped to a 25-year low of 6.8% in the fourth quarter. China's economy continues to shift away from manufacturing to the services sector, while its factory output and retail sales fell below economist expectations. Full-year economic growth was 6.9%, although many analysts and economists argue that this figure has been inflated by China's officials.
On Friday, the Dow fell 390 points to its lowest level since October 2014. The global sell-off accelerated over concerns of 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 Monday, the U.S. markets were closed for Martin Luther King Day. But markets around the globe were in full swing on news that Western nations lifted sanctions on Iran. Oil prices fell to their lowest levels since 2003, as traders anticipate the OPEC nation will begin to sell its crude on the global market.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: On Tuesday, markets will keep a close eye on the Chinese economic data that was reported overnight. Today, banking stocks will be in focus before the opening bell as several prominent investment and commercial firms report quarterly earnings reports. A light domestic economic calendar features the monthly Housing Market Index.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices remained volatile on news that Iranian officials have pushed a sharp increase in production and exports. February WTI prices added 1.0% to hit $29.73 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude added 3.8% to reach $29.64. Here's the breakdown of why oil prices slid when Western nations lifted the sanctions against Iran.
Earnings Outlook: IBM, NFLX, BAC, MS, DAL, CREE
- Earnings Report No. 1, IBM: After the closing bell, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) will report 2015 Q4 earnings. Wall Street analysts anticipate the technology giant will report earnings per share (EPS) of $4.76 on $22.231 billion in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, NFLX: Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) will be in focus this afternoon when the streaming giant reports 2015 Q4 earnings. Analysts project the firm will report EPS of $0.03 on $1.82 billion in revenue. This morning, the stock was up nearly 2% in pre-market activity.
- Earnings Report No. 3, BAC: This morning, shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) climbed 2.1% in pre-market activity after the bank reported 2015 Q4 earnings. The firm reported EPS of $0.28 on $19.53 billion in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting quarterly earnings include Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), and Cree Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE).
Stocks to Watch: SCTY, WMT, TSN, HRL, YHOO
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, SCTY: Shares of SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY) will try to rebound from its worst week since it became a public company in 2012. The solar stock saw a downturn of roughly 30% after Nevada regulators introduced new rules that will hike the price of solar power in the state. The stock fell for the fourth straight week last week, but this morning shares were up 2.8% before the bell.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, WMT: Global retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced plans to close all 102 of its Walmart Express locations as part of a global reorganization of the firm. The firm will close roughly 269 stores around the world, including 115 stores abroad.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, TSN: Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) and Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) are under pressure due to an avian flu outbreak. Although each company stated that the outbreak does not affect its operations, the news can negatively affect the stock prices.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, YHOO: Share of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) gained nearly 3% after the company was a subject in an article in Barron's over the weekend. The financial publication predicted that shares of the tech giant could appreciate more than 30% if the company decides to sell its core Internet business.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Housing Market Index at 10 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.
- Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.
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