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The "2016 Stimulus Sugar High" hit full rush on Friday morning after European banks rallied in celebration of the European Central Bank's latest efforts to boost the struggling continental bloc. Rising European stocks on Friday were a direct contrast to Thursday's slump for the Dow Jones Industrial Average just hours after the announcement that the ECB had proposed a more aggressive stimulus program, but promised this would be the last interest rate cut.
Now then… here's the top stock market news, stocks to watch, and economic calendar for March 11, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: More ECB Stimulus
Futures for the Dow Jones today forecast a 130-point gain as the Dow followed the ECB higher. Here's a breakdown of why the Dow is on a sugar-high this morning.
- Today, markets are going to be chattering about the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year. This month, a wealth of positive economic data has pushed optimism higher as concerns about a 2016 recession appear low among members of the central bank. With the second FOMC meeting of the year set to kick off on Tuesday, language from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen may reinforce expectations that the central bank will continue to tighten monetary policy again by the end of the year.
- Oil prices jumped again after the International Energy Agency released a positive report on demand and said that it is seeing the first signs of a market bottom. The agency announced that Iran's return to the global markets has been less pronounced than many analysts expected. Of course, if investors and traders had listened to our Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors all the way back in April of last year, they would have understood that Iran's "disastrous infrastructure" would affect the nation's ability to bring much oil online after Western sanctions were lifted. Here's what he said back then.
- On the economic front, any decline in import and export prices would weigh on inflation concerns for the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, oil prices will likely react to the Baker Hughes rig count, which is a proxy of domestic energy commodity production.
Now here's your list of top stocks to watch in today's market, plus today's economic calendar:
Companies to Watch in the Stock Market Today
- The U.S. Department of Justice is not pleased with privacy laws on cell phone encryptions, and the agency had some tough words for court defendant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). The DOJ called the company's defense of privacy surrounding two high-profile criminal cases and locked cell phones "corrosive."
- Additionally, on the earnings side, pay attention to quarterly performance reports from Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB), Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE), Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO), and Kirkland's Inc. (Nasdaq: KIRK).
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) upgraded shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) after suggesting that the stock was poised to rise higher thanks to increasing oil prices.
- Shares of El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) slumped more than 65 points after the company beat quarterly top-line estimates but still fell short of revenue forecasts. The food chain also slashed its 2016 forecast.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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