Dow Jones Industrial Average Adds 74 Points Despite Mixed Earnings Reports

Money Morning Contributor
Font Size:

For Oct. 16, 2015, here’s your top stock market news and stocks to watch based on today’s market moves…

How Did the Stock Market Do Today?

Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones:
17,215.97; +74.22; +0.43%

S&P 500: 2,033.11; +9.25; +0.46%

Nasdaq: 4,886.69; +16.59; +0.34%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday) rallied 74 points on positive domestic economic data and mixed stock earnings reports. The U.S. Commerce Department reported consumer sentiment showed a strong rebound in early October, suggesting the economic recovery remained on track despite headwinds from a strong dollar and weak global demand that have weighed on the industrial sector.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market’s fear gauge, slumped a little more than 4% on the day.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market News: Eight of 10 S&P sectors were in the green, with healthcare stocks leading the way. Retail stocks like Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) were up despite news U.S. holiday sales are only expected to increase by just 2.8% this year. Foot traffic is also expected to decrease by as much as 8.1%, according to RetailNext, as consumers continue to shop online for deals.
  • Oil Prices Rise: Oil prices rose again on Friday as domestic oil rigs slipped again for the seventh-straight week, according to a report by Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI). November WTI oil prices added 2.0% to hit $47.33 per barrel, while Brent crude prices added about 1.5% to hit $50.48. The nation’s rig count slipped by 10 last week to reach 595. During the same period last year, oil and gas producers maintained 1,590 rigs.
  • On Tap Monday: The focus will be on global economic data when the National Bureau of Statistics of China reports third-quarter GDP and September industrial production. Meanwhile, the United States gets an update on housing with the October NAHB Housing Market Index. Companies reporting earnings tomorrow include International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq: HAS), Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC), and HealthStream Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM).

Stocks to Watch: UAL, TWTR, MSFT, GE, HON, VRX

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, UAL: Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) were off 3.1% after CEO Oscar Munoz suffered a heart attack. Munoz is currently in a Chicago hospital, and the company’s board is meeting to discuss to the severity of his condition and whether the firm should consider an interim leader.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, TWTR: Shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) gained nearly 5% after Bloomberg reported Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), now owns 4% of the micro-blogging giant.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, GE: Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) beat earnings expectations by $0.03 despite a revenue miss. The company reported third-quarter EPS of $0.29, as it continues to sell its financial assets and focus on its industrial businesses. GE said falling oil prices have negatively affected its oil and gas sales, but locomotive and aircraft orders offset declines. GE shares added more than 3.3% on the day.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 4, HON: Earlier, Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) beat Wall Street third-quarter profit estimates by $0.05. The company reported earnings of $1.60 per share. HON’s quarterly revenue clocked in at $9.61 billion, down from expectations of $9.85 billion. HON shares fell 1.5% on the day.
  • Stocks to Watch No 5, VRX: Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) added more than 5% despite news the company officially received subpoenas from U.S. prosecutors. The pharmaceutical giant – backed by activist investor Bill Ackman – is under intense scrutiny over how it processes its drugs and distributes them to patients. As Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt explains, this biotech company represents everything wrong with the financial markets. Here’s why the stock is a terrible investment.

What Investors Must Know This Week

Follow us on Twitter: @moneymorning.

About Money Morning: Money Morning gives you access to a team of ten market experts with more than 250 years of combined investing experience – for free. Our experts – who have appeared on FOXBusiness, CNBC, NPR, and BloombergTV – deliver daily investing tips and stock picks, provide analysis with actions to take, and answer your biggest market questions. Our goal is to help our millions of e-newsletter subscribers and visitors become smarter, more confident investors.To get full access to all Money Morning content, click here.

Disclaimer: © 2015 Money Morning and Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201.

Money Morning