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The Dow Jones new today will focus on debate over a bill in the U.S. Senate that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Dow Jones futures are down 15 points in premarket hours, and oil prices remain in bear market territory.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Thursday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) shares are generating a lot of headlines after the company announced it plans to purchase Whole Foods Market Inc. (NYSE: WFM) for $13.7 billion. The company also appears to be on the verge of selling retail products on behalf of Nike Corp. (NYSE: NKE), a deal that is sending shock waves across the sporting goods retail industry. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald still says that Amazon stock is a buy even though it is hovering near $1,000 per share.
What's Next for Uber's Leadership?
- Uber's Travis Kalanick has resigned as CEO, giving in to investor demands. Uber has been a major disruptive force since its launch in 2010. The on-demand car service operates in 570 cities across the world. Now bogged down with controversy and lawsuits and without a leader, what's next for Uber and the ride-sharing market at large? Here's what you need to know about the future of Uber.
- It will be a busy day in the healthcare sector. The U.S. Senate will unveil its plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Analysts expect that Senate Republicans will roll back Medicaid expansion under the ACA and alter subsidies to poorer Americans. Biotech stocks rallied thanks to the looming vote in the Senate. Shares of Celgene Corp. (Nasdaq: CELG), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN), and Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) will be in focus.
- Crude oil prices pushed lower again Wednesday despite a larger-than-expected decline in domestic inventory levels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that American inventory levels fell by 2.7 million barrels last week. That figure couldn't offset increasing concerns that OPEC producers will be able to cut enough production to reduce a global supply glut. Today, Iran's oil minister announced the possibility of more cuts by member nations. However, rising production from Nigeria and Libya – both members of OPEC – has traders worried that inventories will not decline enough to balance the global supply and demand equation. WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.73%, and Brent crude dropped 0.96%. Prices are at their lowest levels since August 2016.
- Expect a lot of chatter about the semiconductor business. Yesterday, shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) rallied more than 10% after the company unveiled one of nine memory chips called Epyc. The new product line will help the firm compete in an industry that has seen increased competition and consolidation in recent years.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: BKS, ORCL, AMZN, SPLS
- Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) are in focus as the brick-and-mortar book retailer reports earnings and tries to regain its footing against rival Amazon.com. Wall Street expects to see a fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) loss of -$0.17 on top of $777.6 million in revenue. Shares were off more than 3% in early morning hours.
- In deal news, shares of Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) are up nearly 5% in premarket hours on rumors that the company could soon be selling itself to a private equity firm. According to reports, Sycamore Partners is considering a deal to buy the embattled office supply retailer for more than $6 billion. The acquisition would come nearly one year after a federal judge blocked a merger between Staples and its rival Office Depot Inc. (Nasdaq: ODP). If Sycamore takes Staples private, it plans to shift its focus from traditional consumers to businesses.
- Shares of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) jumped more than 10% in premarket hours after the global cloud computing giant shattered Q4 earnings expectations. Wall Street expected EPS of $0.79 on top of $10.46 billion in revenue. Larry Ellison's company reported EPS of $0.89 on top of $10.94 billion in revenue. This is a big win for a company that is battling Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Amazon, and Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) for cloud computing dominance.
- Look for earnings reports from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY), Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC), Accenture Plc. (NYSE: ACN), SYNNEX Corp. (NYSE: SNX), Apogee Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG), Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI), and Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Five-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.