Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 7/08/2016: Friday's trading session will focus on one number and one number only: The June unemployment rate.
The financial media will spend the day speculating on this morning's announcement.
What does it mean that June's unemployment rate hit 4.9% and the United States added 287,000 jobs last month? What does it mean that economists projected a gain of just 175,000 jobs by comparison?
What will it mean for the U.S. Federal Reserve? When will the next interest rate hike occur?
Of course, one question will be a stark omission from the coverage: How do you profit from today's news? That's the subject of ongoing analysis of Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald.
Let's continue to find the best ways for you to profit this morning. Here are today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit, and economic calendar for July 8, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: June Unemployment
Dow Jones futures projected a 104-point surge at market open as investors weighed the June employment report and eyed a bump in crude oil prices. The 287,000 "new jobs" figure puts the Federal Reserve back in focus as it appears that May's dismal report was largely a one-off event.
Analysts said that the 35,000 workers returning from a strike at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) helped boost the jobs total. Though this report is viewed as a huge improvement, some argue that too much uncertainty exists for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, when there is uncertainty, there is always ways to make money.
The U.S. Justice Department plans to meet with Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) over antitrust concerns linked to its proposed merger. The agency wants to explore the deal's impact on Medicare Advantage patients. It's unclear if there are big enough concerns to derail the deal, but HUM fell nearly 10% on Thursday due to these jitters. HUM was down nearly 1% this morning.
No major U.S. companies report earnings today, making the June unemployment rate, Brexit news, and oil prices that much more important in today's trading session.
The big news today is the Internal Revenue Service's investigation of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB). The federal tax agency is looking into whether the social networking giant undervalued the price of its intellectual property assets when it shifted them to Ireland to reduce its tax burden. The IRS wants to decide if Facebook sold these assets too cheaply to its Irish subsidiaries. Of course, the U.S. government could fix this situation by reducing the highest corporate tax code in the developed world, one that encourages this sort of behavior by large multinational companies.
Crude oil prices were recovering from near-two-month lows on Friday after a brutal sell-off in the previous session. Thursday saw a 4.8% decline in crude oil prices after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a smaller than expected drawdown in inventories. WTI crude prices were up 0.9% to $45.53 per barrel, while Brent crude prices were up 0.8% to $46.79 per barrel.
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
- In deal news, shares of Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) rallied more than 12% on news that private-equity firm Siris Capital plans to purchase the networking giant. The price tag: roughly $2 billion. The news also sent shares of Mitel Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: MITL) surging 22%. The Siris deal ended Polycom's planned merger with Mitel, which waived its right to match the $12.50-per-share offer.
- Gun stocks surged this morning - again - after a sniper in Dallas killed five police officers during a protest over the deaths of two African American men at the hands of police in recent days. Shares of gun makers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Co. (NYSE: RGR) were both up 3% as investors speculated on another round of calls for increased gun control measures.
- On the earnings front, shares of tech firm Barracuda Networks (NYSE: CUDA) pushed higher after the company beat top- and bottom-line analyst expectations after the bell on Thursday. The company reported an EPS of $0.20, besting estimates of $0.11. Meanwhile, the firm saw an 11% hike in quarterly revenue.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is in focus as the company prepares for Monday's big Prime Day. It is the second anniversary of the company's shopping holiday.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
Up Next: It's the Ultimate "Must-Have" Investment... And yet millions of investors have never even considered it, let alone know how to play it for maximum profits. This could make the oil rush to $140 a barrel in 2008 look like amateur hour. Read more...
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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.