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The Dow Jones news today will be highlighted by rising European markets and rebounding oil prices. Dow Jones futures are up 15 points in pre-market hours while the EU announced a $9.5 million bailout for the Greek economy.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Friday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- It could be a volatile day on Wall Street. That's because today's session falls on a "quadruple witching day." Today is one of the four days a year in which futures and options contracts expire on the same day.
- On Thursday, European finance ministers offered a bailout of $9.5 billion. Greece's current bailout program is the third effort by international finance leaders since the nation fell into economic calamity in 2010.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve is back in focus today. Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan will be the first member of the central bank to speak since his team raised interest rates on Wednesday. Markets will be looking for clues into whether the central bank is aiming to hike rates again this year. According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, the probability of a rate hike in December is less than 50%.
- Crude oil prices are rebounding from Thursday's session when they hit a seven-month low on news of a huge spike in U.S. gasoline inventory levels and expectations that OPEC will not be able to balance supply and demand. Markets are hoping that news of stability in Greece will help level off crude prices in the short term. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.9%. Brent crude gained 1.2%.
- It's been a wild week for Bitcoin prices. Yesterday, Bitcoin fell more than 4% and hit $2,379.59 per unit. Today, it's ticking higher as the cryptocurrency rebounds from a sharp downturn. Investors need to know that Bitcoin prices are going to be volatile today and in the future. But they also need to understand why these prices are only going to tick higher and why the idea of $1 million per unit isn't as crazy as some people think. Here's what you need to know.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: SNAP, FNSR, FB, NKE
- Investors have been skeptical of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), the owner of social media giant Snapchat. The company, which has never been profitable and has experienced slowing user growth, fell below its IPO price of $17.00 per share for the first time Thursday. Markets are growing more bearish about the company's growth prospects. Investors should wait another few months for the markets to determine the true value of the stock before they consider going into this troubled company. Shares were up more than 1.8% today, but investors should remain wary of any short-term gains.
- In earnings news, shares of Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) rallied more than 7.5% despite news that the telecommunications company fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Thursday. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.50 on top of $357.5 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts projected EPS of $0.50 on top of $359.19 million in revenue.
- Tech stocks were pushing higher in pre-market hours as investors are looking for value in the "Fabulous Five" tech stocks. Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) were all in positive territory before the bell.
Is It Time to Panic Over Tech Stocks?
- Shares of Nike Corp. (NYSE: NKE) fell more than 1.5% in pre-market hours after the stock received a downgrade from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). The investment bank moved the stock from "Neutral" to "Overweight" after Nike announced plans to cut 2% of its global workforce. Nike also plans to reorganize its global manufacturing operations. The organization is looking to streamline its operation processes in order to keep up with swelling demand around the globe.
- No major U.S. companies report quarterly earnings on Friday.
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 12:45 p.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.