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Oil prices pushed to their highest levels since November and fueled a nearly 200-point rally for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The rally was a welcome one after a difficult few weeks for traders over concerns regarding the health and expected growth rate of the global economy.
Here's what else you need to know about the markets on May 16, 2016.
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First up, check out the results for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 17,710.71; +175.39; +1.00%
S&P 500: 2,066.66; +20.05; +0.98%
Nasdaq: 4,775.46; 57.78; +1.22%
Now, here's the top stock market news today…
DJIA Today: Deals in Focus, Oil Prices Rally, Chinese Data Remains Weak
It was another day of weak economic data from China. According to April reports from China, the nation's industrial production and investment readings fell below investor expectations. The weak economic data comes despite the People's Bank of China's aggressive stimulus efforts over the last year.
On the domestic front, the Empire State general index, which measures manufacturing activity in the New York region, cratered to a negative 9 reading this month. That's a significant swing from the 9.6 rating in April and fuels existing worries about weakness in the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced that U.S. homebuilder confidence remained at a 58 reading, its fourth-straight month at that level.
Crude oil prices rallied higher after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) announced that it believes the global oil glut is over, and that investors should prepare for a deficit in supply around the globe. Meanwhile, infrastructure concerns in Nigeria rattled sentiment, and pushed Brent crude higher. WTI crude added 3%, while Brent crude pushed up 2.3%. Energy stocks pushed higher thanks to more than 1% increases in shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM).
On the deal front, Tribune Publishing (NYSE: TPUB) rallied more than 22% after receiving a second unsolicited bid from Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCO) for $15.50 per share. Barron's reports that Tribune Publishing had received urgent demands from its third-largest shareholder Oaktree Capital Management to accept a previous deal worth $12.50 per share. As Gannett aggressively tries to boost growth in market share, Tribune could see their investors push for the revised offer.
But the big news today was Warren Buffett – who dominated the headlines on multiple fronts.
First, Buffett said that his firm may take part in a takeover bid for embattled tech giant Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). The technology giant saw shares of YHOO stock rally more than 1.7% on news that Buffett has emerged as a candidate to help finance a bid. Buffett said over the weekend that he could help Cleveland Cavaliers owner and Quicken Loans' head Dan Gilbert compete for the embattled technology giant. That puts pressure on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which has been viewed by many analysts as the front-runner for a Yahoo takeover.
Meanwhile, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) announced that it now owns a 9.8 million share stake in technology giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), according to 13D filings. But the more than $1 billion investment in Apple wasn't Buffett's idea, according to the investment legend. Buffett said this morning that the investment was made by Ted Weschler or Todd Combs at Berkshire. Shares of AAPL had their best day in four months, ticking up more than 4%.
Meanwhile, Buffett's firm increased its stake in International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), reduced its stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WFM), and abandoned its entire position in AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T).
Now, let's look at the day's biggest stock movers and the must-own stock for today…
Top Stock Market News Today
- There were no major earnings reports today, as investors continue to monitor retail stocks. This week, keep an eye on earnings reports from Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
- Today, Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) saw shares fall 2% on news that it will purchase Memorial Resource Development (Nasdaq: MRD) in a $4.4 billion all-stock deal. MRD stock was up more than 4.5% on news of the deal.
- Shares of Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ANAC) rallied nearly 56% after the company announced an all-cash sale to Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). The $5.2 billion deal comes after biotech stocks rallied on Friday. The deal helped fuel positive sentiment in the biotech sector. Shares of the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (Nasdaq: IBB) gained than 3% on the day.
- Finally, here is your stock of the day. Investors might be concerned about Apple's recent quarterly earnings report, but one should know that the company's health is not in jeopardy given its decision to hike its dividend by 10%. In fact, there's a wealth of dividend hikes coming from Silicon Valley, and you can profit from this trend. Here's how to make easy cash from technology's most profitable companies.
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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.