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Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 4/4/2016: Today (Monday) the markets are digesting another shocking scandal among our elected officials.
While you were having Sunday Brunch, WikiLeaks released the largest financial leak on world leaders. The leak highlighted a deep, dark descent into the bank accounts of 140 politicians from more than 50 countries, including 72 current or former heads of state.
The Panama Papers have revealed suspected cases of money laundering, sanctions avoidance, and tax evasion.
And that's just the start of Monday... Here's today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit, and the economic calendar for April 4, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: Oil Prices and the Fed
Dow Jones futures today projected a 34-point gain as traders digested Friday's employment report from the U.S. Labor Department. Today features speeches from two prominent U.S. Federal Reserve members as traders attempt to determine the timing of the next interest rate hike by the central bank.
Here's a breakdown of why the Dow is on the rise this morning.
- First up, the proxy battle between Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) and activist investor Starboard Value is in focus as potential suitors for the Internet giant are starting to emerge. Over the weekend, reports stated that Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) is exploring partnerships with private equity firms to make a bid for the embattled company. Yahoo says that it is allowing bidders until April 11 to submit first-round offers for certain assets or the whole company.
- WTI crude oil prices hit a two-week low as traders evaluated statements from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The global oil cartel is set to meet in Qatar in two weeks to discuss a potential freeze in production in order to support crude prices. However, Saudi Arabia has thrown a wrench into plans by stating their unwillingness to engage in the freeze unless Iran joins the cause. Expect price volatility in April.
- On the economic front, investors will be paying attention to an update on new U.S. manufacturing orders for the month of February. Investors are still digesting Friday's jobs report that saw the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5%, while the domestic economy added roughly 215,000 jobs. The odds of a possible rate hike in June actually increased to 30%, according to futures traders. The probability of a rate hike ticked up above 50% for September, according to CME FedWatch.
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 loud screams you hear are coming from investors of SunEdison Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNE). The firm's stock slumped more than 30% this morning on news that the alternative energy firm is close to filing for bankruptcy. The firm is in discussions with creditors on how it will fund operations as it goes through Chapter 11.
- The war on coal continues, and the EPA and the Obama administration are winning handily. As the industry becomes less profitable, the nation's two largest coal miners announced plans to lay off 15% of their national workforce. Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) and Arch Coal Inc. (OTCMKTS: ACIIQ) both announced the layoffs on Thursday, but broader deals on the hundreds of layoffs didn't emerge until over the weekend. Both firms blamed decreasing demand for coal on falling natural gas prices, warmer winter weather, and a swath of new environmental regulations.
- The deals just keep coming, as companies rely on mergers and acquisitions in order to boost financial growth. Over the weekend, reports indicated that Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) is nearing a deal to purchase Virgin America Inc. (Nasdaq: VA). The price tag: roughly $2 billion. Shares of VA gained more than 38% this morning.
- On the earnings front, look for quarterly reports from NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSE: NG), Walgreen Boots Alliances Inc. (NYSE: WBA), and Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
- Labor Market Conditions Index at 10 a.m.
- Factory Orders at 10 a.m.
- Boston Federal Reserve Bank Eric Rosengren speaks at 10:15 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 5:15 p.m.
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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.