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Dow Jones Industrial Average News 6/20/2016: Campaigning for the "Brexit" and the "Remain in the EU" banners resumed on Sunday, and investors remain very optimistic that the United Kingdom is poised to stay.
A new poll indicates a virtual tie in public support for both platforms, meaning that undecided voters are likely to become the siding factor. Expect the chatter and campaigning to heat up in the coming days.
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You can find those answers in today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit and economic calendar for June 20, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: Brexit Odds Fade
Dow Jones futures projected a 213-point gain ahead of today's open. The markets are surging after new polls indicate that U.K. voters are now leaning toward remaining in the European Union. Voters have their date with destiny on Thursday, June 23. It's a slim majority – still within the margin of error – but traders are taking the slight advantage and running with it this morning.
In a high-profile endorsement of staying in the EU, Ivan Menezes, the CEO of Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE: DEO) sent a letter to his thousands of employees today and said it would be "better for the U.K., better for Diageo and better for the Scotch whisky industry that we remain in." Investors can anticipate more letters like this from firms with direct exposure to the Brexit.
Crude oil prices pushed higher as optimism about the United Kingdom surged and demand concerns faded. Oil prices were pummeled last week due to rising geopolitical concerns. Investors are keeping a sharp eye on the $50 mark. WTI crude was up 1.6% this morning, while Brent crude was up 1.5%.
The Federal Reserve is in focus this morning, as Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is set to discuss the banking sector and the dangers of "Too-Big-to-Fail." Kashkari was an assistant to Hank Paulson during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and is an alumnus of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS).
Investors should also keep an eye today on Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).
On Friday, Microsoft announced that it is officially jumping into the legal marijuana industry and will partner with KIND Financial, a firm that builds technology for the cannabis industry. The two firms will establish a new service that is very unique to the agricultural sector. It will allow governments to track marijuana from the planted seed to the end sale of cannabis. Similar technologies exist for the purposes of tracking GMOs produced by leading agricultural seed firms like Monsanto Corp. (NYSE: MON). But this is the first time that a major international company has announced plans to enter this industry. Microsoft made headlines earlier last week with its $26.2 billion buy of LinkedIn Corp. (Nasdaq: LNKD). Microsoft is also unveiling a new Xbox system that will support virtual reality. Here are two reasons to love Microsoft right now.
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
- On the deal front, keep an eye on shares of Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) and Cigna (NYSE: CI). Both health insurance giants are under pressure on news that U.S. regulators are concerned about the antitrust violations tied to their proposed $44 billion merger. The U.S. Justice Department is poised to meet this week to reconsider the deal.
- In other deal news, shares of Federal-Mogul Holdings Group (Nasdaq: FDML) are in focus after the firm received a higher takeover bid from Icahn Enterprises LP (Nasdaq: IEP). The firm run by Carl Icahn has upped its offer from $7 per share to $8.
- Shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) were slipping after the pharmaceutical giant received a stock downgrade from investment firm Jefferies. The stock target was slashed from $42 to $40 on concerns about the firm's ability to complete in a globalized market in the years ahead.
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is in the news today after the firm said it will not offer technology or money to the GOP convention. The technology giant is abstaining from participation in the Cleveland convention on objections to nominee Donald Trump's statements in the past about women, immigrants, and other minority groups. Though this headline may run over and over today, it isn't going to help you profit. Here's the real story that you need to know about AAPL stock and why we're bullish over the long term.
- No major U.S. companies report earnings on Monday.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11:30 a.m.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 12:!5 p.m.
- 2-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
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