Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Climbs Following Strong Jobless Claims Report

Dow Jones Industrial Average Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 4/21/2016: Global stock markets hit their highest levels in roughly five months as oil prices pushed higher.

However, the European stocks turned lower as investors prepared for another major meeting by the European Central Bank. Reports indicate that the ECB is not set to bolster any monetary policy efforts after announcing a larger stimulus package in March.

Mario Draghi will likely defend the central bank's decision to shift to negative interest rates after significant criticism from officials across the continent.

Here's today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit and economic calendar for April 21, 2016.

What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: Earnings Expectations

Dow Jones futures projected a 30-point gain ahead of a very busy day of earnings reports that includes multiple Blue-chip companies and several of the Nasdaq's top technology firms.

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Here's a breakdown of why the Dow is climbing higher this morning.

  • First up, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced that it has delayed the release of its second-quarter earnings report by a day. The company said the extra day will allow its employees to attend a memorial service for long-time board member Bill Campbell, who passed away earlier this week. The firm will now report earnings on April 26.
  • In a surprise regulatory announcement, automotive giant Volkswagen has reached a deal with U.S. regulators over its emission rigging scandal. After admitting that it cheated on emissions tests, the firm will purchase back more than 500,000 cars from owners. The settlement will cost billions of dollars, but it is unclear just how much the auto manufacturer plans to spend on each vehicle.
  • On the economic front, weekly jobless claims fell below the psychological level of 247,000 for last week. Weekly unemployment claims have fallen to their lowest levels since 1973. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed Index will provide some greater insight into the health of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
  • Crude oil prices were up slightly after a significant announcement today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The global energy watchdog announced that this year would experience a massive decline in production by non-OPEC producers. The IEA says that producers in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and Russia have slashed investments by roughly 40% in the last two years. The IEA expects that the global energy sector will balance out this year, fueled by increased demand in India and China. WTI crude prices increased by 0.5%, while Brent prices added 0.7%.
  • Britain's Daily Mail announced that it is having discussions with partners to make a bid for the core Internet business of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is also considered a leading suitor for the internet company's central business.

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

  • It's another busy day of earnings reports. Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) just keeps steaming along with stronger quarterly results. The Baltimore-based apparel maker doubled quarterly estimate expectations and topped quarterly profits by four cents per share. The firm cited rising demand for clothing apparel. The firm recently launched several new lines of basketball and running shoes.
  • Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) were moving up on news that the firm more than doubled its profits in the first quarter and had record earnings in the North America. The automotive giant also broke even in Europe (a positive sign) and saw tremendous growth in China. The company beat top-line expectations by a stunning 25 cents and cited a much stronger mix of sales that included crossover vehicles and SUVs.
  • On the earnings front, look for reports from Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV).

Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
  • FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 5-Yr Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 7-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 5-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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