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For Jan. 22, 2016, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday) forecast a 200-point gain as Chinese stocks pushed higher this morning over expectations for additional stimulus in Europe and Japan. The Nikkei surged nearly 6%, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 1.2%.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones 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.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: Domestic markets will watch 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.
- Mayer Under Pressure: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) were ticking upward after a report by Reuters indicated the company will explore its strategic options after – and only after – it reports its quarterly earnings on Feb. 2. The firm has been under pressure from activist investor Starboard Value LP to spin off its Internet business. Others are pushing for a full sale as some argue YHOO stock will continue to decline due to its inability to compete against Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) in the online advertising world. The timing puts CEO Marissa Mayer under increased pressure as the earnings call approaches.
- Oil Outlook: Oil prices surged as a major winter storm hit the East Coast of the United States and hopes of increased stimulus around the globe pushed demand. WTI prices gained 3.7% to reach $30.63 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude was up 4.6% at $30.61. Later today, Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) will release the weekly rig count, which could have a significant effect on domestic energy markets.
Earnings Outlook: GE, KSU, STI, COL, SYF
- Earnings Report No. 1, GE: Before the bell, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) will report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Wall Street expects that the company would report per-share earnings of $0.50 on top of $35.8 billion in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, KSU: Shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) are on the move this morning after the railroad company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Wall Street anticipated that the company would report an EPS of $1.13 on top of $609.1 million in revenue.
- Additional companies reporting quarterly earnings include SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI), Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL), and Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF).
Stocks to Watch: SBUX, VLO, AXP
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, SBUX: Shares of Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) fell more than 4.4% after the company announced a weaker than expected profit forecast.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, VLO: Shares of Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) are ticking up in pre-market hours after falling 3.1% during Thursday's trading session. The company announced last night that the company would hike its quarterly dividend by 20%.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, AXP: Shares of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) slumped more than 2.2% after the company reported a 38% drop in fourth-quarter earnings. The firm also announced a weaker than expected profit outlook for 2017 and announced plans to slash its corporate costs by roughly $1 billion. The company cited rising competition, tightening merchant fees, and a stronger U.S. dollar as reasons for its weakening financial position.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, CMG: Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) were sliding in pre-market hours after lawyers in California announced a class-action lawsuit against the casual dining company. The suit claims that at least 234 customers were affected by food poisoning at a Simi Valley, Calif., location. The plaintiffs claim that the company covered up the outbreak in order to protect its market share.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 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