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For Feb. 2, 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: 16,153.54; -295.64; -1.80%
S&P 500: 1,903.03; -36.35; -1.87%
Nasdaq: 4,516.95; -103.42; -2.24%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Tuesday) slipped 295 points as oil prices slumped and mixed earnings reports rattled investor confidence. As earnings season kicks into gear, growing concern about a recession has become a primary theme of executive communications. According to Thomson Reuters data, at least 92 companies have raised the prospect of an economic recession hitting the United States this year. That's a 33% increase compared to data from the previous year.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – Wall Street's fear gauge – jumped 10.7%.
On the economic front, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said in a speech the central bank should proceed with future rate hikes. George cited strong economic fundamentals and brushed aside market volatility witnessed in January.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Today: All 10 major S&P sectors were on the decline today, with energy stocks falling 3.7%. Meanwhile, materials stocks, industrials, consumer goods, financial stocks, and tech stocks fell by at least 2%.
- Oil Crash: Oil prices cratered again today on concerns about weak earnings and fleeting expectations that OPEC will be able to strike a deal to prevent a global supply glut. WTI crude oil – priced in New York – fell 5.5% to hit $29.88 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude – priced in London – fell 4.4% to hit $32.72 per barrel. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) slid after the firm reported its smallest quarterly profit in more than a decade. Exxon said it plans to slash its 2016 capex spending by 25% and suspend its buyback program while oil prices remain low.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Wednesday, investors will keep an eye on weekly jobless claims, the weekly petroleum status report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and a busy day of earnings reports. Companies set to report quarterly earnings include GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO), Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD), Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), and Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW).
Stocks to Watch: F, GM, YHOO, GOOGL, AAPL, RCL
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, F: Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) fell 4.6% on news that automotive sales got off to an uninspiring start in 2016. Ford shares fell by more than 14% in January as concerns about exposure to China's slowing economy rattled trader sentiment. Meanwhile, shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) fell 1.5%.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) slipped 1.7% as the company prepares to report quarterly earnings after the bell. Investors are awaiting an update from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, whose firm recently announced a 15% workforce reduction in the coming months. The firm is already under pressure from activist investors to spin off its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) or sell its core Internet business. Here are the three biggest issues to consider if you're a YHOO stock investor.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, GOOGL: Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) gained 1.3% after the company crushed quarterly profit expectations on Monday. The price surge allowed Alphabet to surpass Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) as the world's most valuable U.S. company. So, why did Alphabet absolutely crush earnings expectations? It all comes down to one reason that you might have missed.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, RCL: Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) slumped more than 15% after the company offered a weak first-quarter outlook. The company reported a 4.4% increase in quarterly revenue. However, its $1.9 billion revenue figure was short of the $1.96 billion expected by Wall Street analysts.
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