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For Feb. 3, 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: 16,336.66; +183.12; +1.13%
S&P 500: 1,912.53; +9.50; +0.50%
Nasdaq: 4,504.24; -12.71; -0.28%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Wednesday) added more than 183 points as oil prices rocketed higher and private payroll figures indicated the U.S. jobs market continues to steam along. The Nasdaq slipped 11 points as tech stocks underperformed on the day. Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were off 3.8%, while shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) were off more than 4%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – Wall Street's fear gauge – was down 1.7%.
On the economic front, ADP reported that private U.S. payrolls surged by 205,000 in January. That figure beat consensus estimates of 195,000. Meanwhile, gold prices today rose to three-month highs after a weaker than expected U.S. ISM non-manufacturing report had investors piling into gold. Data from the Institute for Supply Management showed U.S. service-sector growth slowed more than forecast in January. And Wednesday's read was the lowest for the sector since February 2014.
Top Stock Market News Today
- Stock Market Today: Eight of 10 major S&P sectors were on the rise this afternoon, with energy stocks gaining more than 3.5% and materials stocks jumping more than 3.8%. Shares of Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) gained 3.8%, while shares of Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) added 11.4%.
- Deal News: Shares of Syngenta AG (NYSE ADR: SYT) gained more than 2% on news that the Swiss seed and agrichemical giant agreed to sell itself to ChemChina for $43 billion. The deal is a blow to rival Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON), which had made several attempts to purchase the firm in 2015.
- Oil Prices Surge: Crude oil prices surged today on news that OPEC and non-OPEC countries are willing to meet to discuss ways to cut back production. Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index hit a seven-week low as investors remain sure that the U.S. Federal Reserve is unlikely to hike interest rates in the near future. WTI crude oil – priced in New York – gained 8% to hit $32.28 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude – priced in London – gained 7.1% to hit $35.04 per barrel. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) gained 5.2%, while shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) jumped 4.2%. Finally, shares of National-Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) slipped 8.7% after the nation's oil field equipment provider reported a quarterly loss.
- On Tap Tomorrow: On Wednesday, keep an eye on weekly jobless claims, a monthly update on productivity and costs, and three speeches by Federal Reserve officials. In addition, retail stocks will be in focus when the monthly chain store sales report is released in the morning. Companies set to report quarterly earnings include LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NYSE: DECK), Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), Tableau Software Inc. (NYSE: DATA), Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL), Outerwall Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTR), and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC).
Stocks to Watch: CMCSA, MSFT, MRVL, GPRO
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, CMCSA: Shares of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) jumped nearly 6% after the cable giant reported stronger than expected revenue figures and hiked its annual dividend by 10%. The firm also boosted its stock buyback program to $10 billion. Despite the gain, the firm reported its smallest number of customers in eight years.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, MSFT: Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) were off 1.6% after the company announced its acquisition of predictive keyboard manufacturer Swiftkey for an undisclosed sum. According to the company's profile, its predictive technology is used in more than 300 million devices and has saved more than 100,000 years of typing time due to its algorithms.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, MRVL: Shares of semiconductor giant Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) gained 6.9% on news that activist hedge fund Starboard Value has built a nearly 7% stake in the company. Starboard's Jeffrey Smith called the stock undervalued and said he wants the company to cut costs and depart from its mobile business, according to a report by Fortune.
- Stocks to Watch No. 4, GPRO: Shares of GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) were up 4.6% ahead of the company's earnings report after the bell. Wall Street analysts expect per-share earnings of a penny on top of $434.9 million in revenue. So, should you buy GPRO stock after its earnings report? We answer that question, right here.
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.