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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
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.