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For Jan. 21, 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: 15,882.68; +115.94; +0.74%
S&P 500: 1,868.99; +9.66; +0.52%
Nasdaq: 4,472.06; +0.37; +0.01%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Thursday) added 115 points as oil prices surged and statements by Mario Draghi hinted the European Central Bank may loosen monetary policy by March. The Dow Jones received its biggest boost from home retailer Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), which saw shares gain 3.2%. The stock surged after investment bank JPMorgan & Co. (NYSE: JPM) said warm weather heading into the spring should help the company's performance.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – Wall Street's fear gauge – slipped 3.3%.
On the economic front, the U.S. Labor Department announced state unemployment claims increased by 10,000 last week to 293,000. That's the highest level since July 2015 and represents the second straight week that unemployment claims surpassed economists' expectations.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Today: Nine of 10 major S&P sectors were up today, with energy stocks leading the way. Energy stocks gained 3.2%. The telecom sector surged on strong earnings reports from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). VZ stock gained more than 3.2% after the company reported stronger than expected earnings and a huge boost in new customers. That performance boosted AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) stock by 1.9% on the day, and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) by 2.6%.
- Oil in Focus: Crude oil prices surged off 12-year lows today despite news by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that crude inventories increased by 4 million barrels last week. That figure was less than energy economists at the American Petroleum Institute anticipated, although a deep dive into the numbers show that U.S. oil production continues to rise and topped 9.2 million barrels per day. March WTI crude prices increased by more than 4.2% to settle at $29.53. Meanwhile, Brent crude – priced in London – added 4.9% to hit $29.25 per barrel. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) gained 2.6% on the day in heavy volumes, while Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) added another 1.3%.
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- On Tap Tomorrow: On Friday, domestic markets will keep an eye on a wealth of U.S. economic data. Investors will eye monthly updates to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, existing home sales, and the PMI Manufacturing Index flash. Tomorrow afternoon, traders will eye domestic energy production when the weekly rig count is released by Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI). Companies set to report quarterly earnings include General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI), Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL), and Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF).
Stocks to Watch: DB, SCHL, UNP, NSC, KMI
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, DB: Shares of Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) fell 3.9% after the company slashed its earnings outlook and said it expects its first full-year loss since 2008. The investment firm blamed unfavorable market conditions and rising legal costs. Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani called a bad earnings season for the financial giant and says that there is more pain to come for this sector. Read his analysis right here.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, SCHL: Shares of Scholastic Corp. (Nasdaq: SCHL) plunged more than 10.5% after the publishing giant announced plans to cancel its $200 million buyback program. The firm blamed both the rising dollar and the global market downturn for its decision to no longer repurchase its own stock.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, UNP: Shares of Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) slumped more than 3.4% after the railroad operator warned of a weak 2016. The warning weighed on other railroad stocks. Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) fell more than 1.6%.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, KMI: Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) surged 15.5% on news that the pipeline giant plans to slash financial debts, cut corporate spending, and explore the possibility of dividend hikes or a buyback program. In the low-price energy environment, the firm announced it slashed its 2016 capital expenditure budget by nearly 25%.
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