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Today, the probability of a rate hike in March increased to 80%. Yesterday it was just 50%. This increase comes on the heels of President Trump's first address to the joint houses of Congress. This will also be one of the biggest factors moving markets today.
Another factor that increased the likelihood of a rate hike is the U.S. economic data being released today, which is expected to show the economy is improving. The reports being released today are personal income and spending, PCE prices, Markit manufacturing PMI, ISM manufacturing, and U.S. auto sales.
Now that we know what will be moving markets, here are three top stocks to watch today…
Top Stocks to Watch Today: Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY)
Hershey stock is up 1% in early morning trading after announcing that it is implementing initiatives to improve profitability.
The downside of the profitability plan is that Hershey will cut 15% of its employees.
The plan will cost about $400 million to implement, but the layoffs will help pay for about a quarter of that price tag.
HSY stock is currently trading at $108.35 for a year-to-date (YTD) gain of 4.8%.
Top Stocks to Watch Today: Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY)
Best Buy stock is down 4% in early morning trading after announcing earnings for the quarter.
Earnings per share (EPS) increased by 27.5% this quarter over the same quarter a year ago, but revenue dropped 1%.
The company announced EPS of $1.95 for the quarter versus $1.53 for the same quarter a year prior. Analysts expected EPS to be $1.67 for the quarter. Best Buy set next quarter guidance at $0.35 to $0.40 EPS.
Revenue for the quarter was $13.48 billion. Last year for the same quarter revenue was $13.62 billion.
BBY stock is currently trading for $44.13, which is a gain of 3.4% YTD.
Top Stocks to Watch Today: Weight Watchers International Inc. (NYSE: WTW)
Weight Watchers stock is up 16% in early morning trading after beating earnings expectations.
The company reported EPS of $0.20. In the same quarter last year, Weight Watchers posted EPS of -$0.02.
Weight Watchers reported full-year EPS of around $1.30 to $1.40. Analysts had expected $1.17 EPS for the year.
WTW stock is currently trading at $14.39 a share for a gain of 25.7% YTD.
Editor's Note: Protect your money in 2017. Know exactly what to buy and what to sell.