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It seems oil prices are poised to remain in the headlines for the next five years. Again, markets slumped after WTI and Brent prices fell, snapping yet another rally for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq. Thanks in part to ongoing volatility in the global crude markets, the S&P 500 is off more than 5% in 2016. That said, let's get to what traders were yapping about during Tuesday's session.
First up, check out the big gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq today:
Dow Jones: 16,431.78; -188.88; -1.14%
S&P 500: 1,921.27; -24.23; -1.25%
Nasdaq: 4,503.58; -67.02; -1.47%
Then read today's top stock market news…
DJIA Today: Crude Craters, Gates Raises Eyebrows, Housing Surges
First up, WTI crude oil prices slumped again today as traders sold on a rally due to renewed concerns about a glut of oil on the global market. WTI crude prices were off 4.6%, while Brent crude slipped 4.1%. Energy prices are getting so bad that they are affecting the production of Brazil's largest oil producer. Shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (NYSE ADR: PBR) cratered more than 4.2% after the firm announced plans to halt onshore drilling rigs in six Brazilian states.
It was a good day for housing stocks as a slew of economic data indicted positive momentum for the industry. Interest rates are low and demand is high. First, homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) announced a stronger than expected boost to its quarterly revenue. Meanwhile, U.S. existing home sales hit a six-year high thanks to a swell in wages, credit access, and investor sentiment.
Is there bad blood between Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)? That's certainly how it seems after Microsoft CEO Bill Gates made a curious statement today. Gates told the Financial Times he believes Silicon Valley executives should increase their cooperation with legal authorities. The statement comes on the heels of a battle between the FBI and Apple over whether the tech firm should unlock the iPhone of a terrorist who spearheaded the San Bernardino attack.
But today's biggest story – what every pundit had an opinion about – is breaking news out of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). According to unnamed sources at Reuters, Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME), best known as the publisher of Time magazine and Sports Illustrated, is exploring a deal for the core Internet business of Yahoo. Shares of Yahoo stock still slipped 1.6% despite news of a possible deal and an upgrade to "Buy" from SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI). Last time that Time got into the Internet business, it didn't end well. Perhaps that's weighing on investor sentiment today.
Now, let's look at the day's biggest stock movers and Tuesday's stock pick…
Top Stock Market News Today
- Energy traders were driving the market after a speech by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, who attended the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston today. The minister told traders exactly what they didn't want to hear: Oil production cuts are not going to happen. The minister said he is hoping OPEC and non-OPEC members will be able to negotiate an output freeze, but he suggested that no one would honor cuts to production due to each nation's economic reliance on oil.
- Shares of Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT) fell more than 20% after the company lowered forward guidance for the first quarter. The company said it expects quarterly revenue to come in between $420 million and $440 million. That is well under Wall Street expectations of $484.4 million. But don't let this forecast deter you from considering this stock today. Here's why Fitbit is a buy moving forward.
- Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) jumped more than 4.4% after The Wall Street Journal reported the drug firm plans to restate some of its previous earnings reports following a company-wide review of its relationship with an online pharmacy and benefits manager. That firm said it plans to host its fourth-quarter earnings call on Leap Day, Feb. 29.
- Finally, here's your stock pick for Tuesday, Feb. 23. Right now, the global banking industry is facing a significant crisis. Things are so bad at Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) that bondholders are worried about the security of their investments. Meanwhile, shares of global banking icon Standard Chartered Plc. (LON: STAN) were collapsing again after the company reported its first annual loss since the late 1980s. There's a storm brewing on the horizon, a combination of negative interest rates and fiscal imbalance. So when banks start raiding your savings accounts to protect their bottom line, you're going to want to own this investment. Read about it, right here.
After today's losses, investors are wondering if we're heading for a stock market crash, correction, or bear market. Here's what our Money Morning experts predict will happen in 2016…
What Investors Must Know This Week
- The $600 Million Signal That Oil Prices Are About to Rise
- How to Prepare for a Global Recession in 2016
- This Easy Investing Strategy Can Lead to 2,426% Profits
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.