The Dow Jones Industrial Average Climbs Today as Oil Prices Rally

For Jan. 22, 2016, here's how the stock market did today, earnings reports, the top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today's market moves...

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?

Meltdown MondayThe Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 150 points with two hours remaining in the trading day. At 1:30 p.m. EST, the markets were steady - with the S&P 500 holding just above the 1,900 level. Oil prices rallied due to a continental cold snap and as traders covered their short positions on crude. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 were on track for their first weekly gains of 2016.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) - Wall Street's fear gauge - fell 11.5% on the day.

On the economic front, the month of December experienced the strongest level of U.S. home sales in nine years fueled by a rush of Americans seeking to get lower interest rates before the U.S. Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy. The National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales jumped 14.7% last month and hit a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 5.46 million units.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market Today: All 10 major S&P sectors rose on Friday, with energy stocks surging 3.8%. The technology and telecom sectors each gained more than 2.1% each. Tech stocks rallied - with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) all adding more than 3% on the day.
  • Oil in Focus: Crude oil prices rallied as traders covered their short positions and Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) reported that U.S. energy producers removed or mothballed five rigs from the rotation last week. March contracts for WTI crude oil jumped 7.0% to hit $31.62 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude - priced in London - added 7.5% to hit $31.47 per barrel. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) gained 2.1% on the day in heavy volumes, while Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) added another 2.2%.
  • On Tap Next Week: On Monday, a light economic calendar features an update to the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey. Traders will gear up for the following day when the Fed Open Market Committee meets for the first time in 2016 and discusses its outlook for rate hikes and other monetary policy tools. Companies set to report quarterly earnings include McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD), Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq: STLD), DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE: BRO), and Crane Co. (NYSE: CR).

 Stocks to Watch: GE, AXP, SLB, CHK, YHOO

  • Stocks to Watch, No. 1, GE: Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) fell 1.5% after the company failed to meet Wall Street's expectations on its earnings report. The company topped expectations for an EPS figure of $0.50 by $0.02. However, the firm fell short of bottom-line expectations of $35.8 billion in revenue.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, SLB: Shares of Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) gained 5.1% after the world's largest oil field services provider beat Wall Street earnings expectations and announced plans for $10 billion buyback program.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, AXP:Shares of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) fell more than 12.2% after the firm reported a weaker than expected earnings report. The iconic credit card giant 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, CHK: Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) added 2.6% as the debt-ridden natural gas producer continues to fight for its survival. The stock was on the rise after it announced plans to halt its quarterly dividend in order to protect its cash flow. The company's stock is now off more than 80% over the last 12 months.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 5, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) added 1% after a report by Reutersindicated 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 (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.

What Investors Must Know This Week

Follow Money Morning on Facebook and Twitter.

[mmpazkzone name="in-story" network="9794" site="307044" id="137008" type="4"]

About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

Read full bio