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Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today are down after two horrific terrorist attacks took place in Brussels, Belgium, this morning. Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families. Two suicide attacks killed at least 26 individuals.
Airline stocks are slumping, while gold and government bonds increased. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) were all down between 1.4% and 3.5% in pre-market hours.
Airlines are currently rerouting international flights originally set for Brussels.
Here's the top stock market news, stocks to watch, and economic calendar for March 22, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: International Terrorism
Dow futures forecast a 50-point decline after two terror attacks hit the home of the European Union. The attacks overshadow a wealth of improving economic data both in Europe and in the United States. It also comes at a time that many traders are staying conservative with their money ahead of the Easter holiday.
Here's a breakdown of other events impacting markets this morning:
- First up, any companies tied to the international travel industry are moving lower this morning. Shares of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) were off more than 3.5%, while travel sites Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) and Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) were off 1% and 2.3%, respectively.
- On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained only 21 points. Shares of both Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) were the biggest laggards on the Dow, while healthcare stocks pushed the market higher.
- The FBI has asked a judge to suspend its case against Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) over the encryption of a phone tied to a San Bernardino shooter. The agency says that it thinks it may have found a way to break into the seized phone without Apple's assistance.
- Apple also launched the iPhone SE, a smaller-screen model retailing for $399. The new product is designed to help the company compete in emerging markets where consumers have less money to spend on electronics and with customers who prefer smaller phones. The company is attempting to boost its sales internationally. Chinese competitors have been poaching the tech giant's market share.
- Oil prices rose in a choppy day of commodity trading yesterday. WTI futures for April delivery – which expired today – gained 1.2% to $39.91, while Brent futures for May added 0.8% to close at $41.54. Traders are keeping a close eye on the status of an upcoming meeting of global exporters representing 73% of the global oil trade.
- Today, we have to keep an eye abroad for the release of consumer and producer price indices in the United Kingdom. While these numbers don't generate much attention in the news, today's update is important. The Bank of England is holding interest rates at historical lows, and inflation remains a critical concern for the UK as voters prepare to vote on a referendum on its EU membership.
- On the economic front, pay attention to one of the U.S. Federal Reserve's most dovish members, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who will give a speech on monetary policy and his economic outlook in. In addition, Philadelphia Fed Bank President Patrick Harker will give a speech at New York University.
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
- Shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (NYSE ADR: PBR) fell more than 7% after the bell on Monday after the company reported a staggering $10 billion loss.
- It's not exactly clear what the U.S. Department of the Treasury has done in order to prevent companies from leaving the country for tax purposes. Well done, Jack Lew… as another American company heads for the exits by invoking a corporate inversion.
- Shares of CalAmp Corp. (Nasdaq: CAMP) slumped more than 7% after the bell yesterday after the wireless communications device manufacturer slashed its quarterly outlook. The company slashed its revenue forecast from roughly $75 million to about $71 million.
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) shares are up another 1% after yesterday's announcement that its CEO will be stepping down. Activist investor Bill Ackman would join the firm's board of directors. Despite yesterday's price surge, shares are still down roughly 90% from it's 52-week high. Even though the company continues to dominate headlines and some talking heads are touting the stock – our Global Credit Specialist Michael Lewitt – who predicted the stock's demise in October 2016 – has a warning for wannabe VRX stock owners: Avoid the stock.
- Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) will be in focus today after the company announced a five-year, $1 billion stock buyback program.
- On the earnings side, pay attention to quarterly performance reports from Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD), Cintas Corp. (Nasdaq: CTAS), G-III Apparel Group (Nasdaq: GIII), AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR), and Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans Speaks at 12:30m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 6:30m.
What Investors Must Know This Week
- Grab These Shares Now to Cash In on a $14.4 Trillion Market
- These Four Stocks Are the Next Group of "Profit Doublers"
- Look Who's Really Behind the $2 Trillion Stock Buyback Scam