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Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 5/26/16: Expect another wild day on Wall Street as investors debate the timing of the next interest rate hike and oil prices continue to rise as global supply concerns abate. Investors will be eyeing earnings reports from several retail firms while checking in on the status of what could be the most widely discussed merger of the year.
Here's the rest of today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit, and economic calendar…
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: WTI Oil Tops $50 per Barrel
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Thursday, May 26) projected a 40-point gain as oil prices rallied ahead of a slew of economic data that could boost investment sentiment. Investors will be eyeing a monthly update on durable goods orders, while weekly jobless claims will offer some insight into the health of the labor industry.
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Financial stocks have been rallying in recent sessions as investors anticipate the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in either June or July. Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) will be in focus today after a strong Wednesday trading session.
Conversely, gold prices have been sliding on the interest rate chatter. This morning, pay attention to a speech by Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell, a permanent voter on the FOMC. According to CME Group's FedWatch, markets see a 34% probability of a June rate hike and a 57% chance of a boost to short-term rates in July.
On the deal front, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has reportedly made a bid for the internet business of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), Bloomberg reported yesterday. The firm joins rival Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) as a potential suitor for parts of the global tech giant. YHOO stock was up nearly 2.5% in pre-market hours.
Global crude oil prices ticked above $50 per barrel for the first time since November as supply concerns abate and investors continue to enjoy the price rally in the global commodity sector. WTI gained 1.1%, while Brent crude pushed up 1.2%. However, that $50 mark could face pressure very soon. The psychological barrier could drive U.S. producers in the shale industry to return to operations after months of being shutdown. Meanwhile, a possible deal among OPEC producers to provide a floor to prices remains in jeopardy due to Iran's unwillingness to participate.
The big news in the energy sector was the surprise vote during the annual shareholder meeting of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). On Wednesday, roughly 60% of shareholders voted for a measure that will allow minority voters to appoint outside nominees to the firm's board of directors. Some see this as a possible pathway that would appoint a climate activist to the board of directors.
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
- Earnings are back in focus for the retail sector today with reports from discount chains Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) and Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR). This morning, DG stock and DLTR stock added roughly 3% and 6%, respectively, as both companies topped Wall Street expectations. While it's positive for both companies, it also offers some jarring insight into the economic realities of Americans. While specialty and apparel retail companies – once staples of brick-and-mortar malls that served the middle class – are disappearing, retail chains that typically serve lower-income households are thriving.
- Also in earnings news, shares of HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), the firm that owns the remnants of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s computer and printer divisions, beat quarterly earnings expectations. HPQ stock added more than 2% after the firm reported its cost-cutting efforts have helped stave off problems in a weak market for personal computers, printers, and other hardware products.
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock has been rallying over the last two weeks as the company sets its eyes on India as a potential market for its technology products. But two big announcements are boosting domestic sentiment as well. First, the company will create a Siri-based personal assistant to compete against Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Meanwhile, the firm is also looking into the development of electric-vehicle stations and is hiring engineers.
- On the earnings front, look for reports from GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NYSE: DECK), Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), and Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE ADR: TSL).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 5:15 a.m.
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Pending Home Sales Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell Jerome Powell speaks at 12:15 p.m.
- 7-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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