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For Feb. 2, 2016, here's the top stock market news and stocks to watch…
Stock Futures Today
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Tuesday) forecast a 133-point decline as falling oil prices and mixed earnings reports weigh on investor optimism. Oil prices remain under sharp pressure as traders hold out slim hope that Russia and OPEC may be able to strike a deal to reduce a massive crude supply glut.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 17 points after another round of weak Chinese economic data renewed concerns about a global cooldown. Meanwhile, oil prices continued to slide on rumors that OPEC may conduct an emergency meeting to address falling demand around the world.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
- The Stock Market Today: On Tuesday, automotive stocks will be in focus when companies report monthly motor vehicle sales. Meanwhile, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George will give a speech on the U.S. economy.
- Oil Watch: Crude oil prices cratered again today on concerns about China's economy and fleeting expectations that OPEC will be able to strike a deal to prevent a global supply glut. WTI crude oil fell 3.2% to hit $30.60 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude fell 4.4% to hit $32.71 per barrel. Prices continued to slide after analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) said that a deal between Russia and OPEC to curb production was highly unlikely. Russia's output jumped over the last month from 10.83 million barrels per day in December to 10.88 million barrels per day in January.
Earnings Outlook: GILD, KORS, YHOO, CMG, XOM, PFE, AGN
- Earnings Report No. 1, KORS: Shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) jumped more than 14% after the retailer reported stronger than expected earnings per share (EPS). The firm reported an EPS of $1.59 on top of $1.342 billion in revenue. Wall Street analysts projected $1.46 on $1.35 billion in revenue.
- Earnings Report No. 2, PFE: Shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) dipped 1.8% in pre-market hours after the company beat Q4 2015 expectations. But the company lowered forward guidance. Pfizer is in the process of purchasing Botox-maker Allergan Plc. (NYSE: AGN) for $160 billion. It lowered its forecast due to rising competition from generic drugs and a strong U.S. dollar, which is cutting into its international profits.
- Earnings Report No. 3, XOM: Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) slipped nearly 2% after the company reported Q4 2015 earnings this morning. The multinational oil company reported adjusted EPS of $0.67 on top of $59.807 billion in revenue. That EPS figure was below Estimize's estimate of $0.70. Overall, the firm reported a 58% decline in quarterly profits as it continues to suffer due to falling oil prices.
- Additional companies reporting quarterly earnings include Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG).
Stocks to Watch: SYT, YHOO, GOOGL, AAPL
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, STR: Shares of Syngenta AG (NYSE: SYT) are in focus this morning on news that China's state-owned ChemChina is close to purchasing the pesticide giant for roughly $42 billion.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are in focus today as the company plans to report earnings after the bell. The technology company is expected to announce weak earnings and weak guidance for Q1 2016. CEO Marissa Mayer is expected to outline her strategic options in the near future, which could include a spin-off of its core Internet business or an outright sale of the company. The firm has been under pressure from activists to boost shareholder value.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, GOOGL: Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) surged more than 5% after the bell on Monday after the technology giant crushed earnings expectations. The firm beat Wall Street analyst EPS expectations by $0.57. The post-market rally now makes Alphabet the world's most valuable company, as it surpassed Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Gallup US ECI at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Esther George speaks 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
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.