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Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 8/15/2016: The markets are looking for another kick of stimulus cash.
This morning, the markets were ticking higher again on new hopes that China's central bank is set to loosen monetary policy in order to boost its stagnant economy.
Meanwhile, the markets are eyeing Japan after the country announced that its economy barely grew in the second quarter.
Let's get to today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit, and economic calendar for Aug. 15, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: Chinese Stimulus Hopes
Dow Jones futures projected a 44-point increase as investors eye rising oil prices and grow more optimistic about a possible stimulus package from the People's Bank of China. Word of a possible stimulus program comes after the country reported several rounds of weak data on the health of its economy. The markets are also eyeing the latest round of earnings reports as the markets attempt to keep momentum pushing higher.
Crude oil prices were pushing higher on rising optimism that OPEC will work on a deal to limit production and aim to help crude find a price floor. WTI prices were up 0.5%, while Brent crude oil was off 0.5% in early trading. This morning, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that he was working with the world's largest oil producers to help stabilize the global markets.
Silver prices were ticking higher thanks to a weakening U.S. dollar. Traders are also keeping an eye on the U.S. Federal Reserve and the potential timing of its next rate hike. On Wednesday, the Fed will release the minutes from its most recent meeting on monetary policy. Though the central bank has hinted that it could consider an interest rate hike in September, the markets largely do not believe such a hike is possible. According to CME FedWatch, the probability of a rate hike in September sits at roughly 9%. The odds do not rise above 50% until early 2017. Still, investors need to consider where silver prices are heading next. Here's our silver forecast for the rest of the year.
In deal news, shares of Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE: MAA) climbed more than 1% on news that it plans to purchase Post Properties Inc. (NYSE: PPS) in a stock swap deal worth roughly $3.88 billion.
Meanwhile, there are multiple reports that Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) is on the verge of buying software chain JDA Software Group. The deal is expected to be worth $3 billion, including debt.
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 earnings news, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) were up 3.5% on news that it received an upgrade from "Underperform" to "Neutral" from investment firm Mizuho. The research firm said it is more optimistic about the company's management team. Despite this update, don't believe the hype. Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt says this is a company drowning in debt. Lewitt discusses how investors get tricked into buying stocks like VRX, right here.
- Shares of video-game giant Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) rallied nearly 4% on news that hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb's firm has purchased 3 million shares of the company.
- Keep an eye on General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM). According to reports by CNBC, the company reached out to ride-service company Lyft about a possible takeover bid. The Carl Icahn-backed service allegedly has rejected such interest. However, it is a clear sign that U.S. auto manufacturers are adapting to the times.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY), Fabrinet (NYSE: FN), Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: VIPS).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.
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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.