Dow Futures Surge 157 Points After China Slashes Interest Rates

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Good morning! For Friday, Oct. 23, here are your Dow futures, earnings reports, top stock market news, and stocks to watch…

Stock Futures Today

dow futures

Dow Jones futures were up 157 points before opening bell this morning after the Peoples Bank of China announced it would slash interest rates for the seventh time in nearly a year.

Additional optimism came from:

  • Positive earnings reports from Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).
  • News the European Central Bank boosted its quantitative easing program.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 320 points after stronger than expected earnings reports and improved economic data lifted investor optimism. In addition, Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, hinted his monetary policy team may slash interest rates and/or extend their bond-purchasing program in order to boost inflation and the world’s largest economic bloc.

Top News in the Stock Market Today

  • The Stock Market Today: Today, oil prices will be in focus when Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) reports the weekly rig count for domestic production, and the October Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index (PMIs) will be released. The Markit preliminary manufacturing PMI index is forecast to slip to 52.8 in October from 53.1 in September.
  • Oil Outlook: Oil prices were up marginally as traders reacted positively to expected stimulus efforts from the European Central Bank and China’s central bank. November futures for WTI crude were up about 0.1%, while Brent crude added 0.5%.

Earnings Outlook: PG, RCL, AAL, WHR

  • Earnings Reports No. 1, PG: Before the bell, Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) announced that it beat quarterly earnings expectations. The firm reported an EPS of $0.98, $0.03 above consensus expectations. The company said that revenue came in lower than expected due to a stronger U.S. dollar.
  • Earnings Reports 2, RCL: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) reported that it beat consensus earnings expectations before market open. The firm reported an EPS of $2.84 on top of $2.52 billion in revenue. Wall Street expected an EPS of $2.70 on revenues of $2.531 billion.
  • Additional companies reporting earnings include American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR).

 Pre-Market Movers: AAPL, GM, TREE

  • Pre-Market Movers No. 1, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were up 1.3% this morning despite news that Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) removed the tech giant from its U.S. Focus List. The bank still has a “Buy” rating on the firm that it has maintained since the launch of the iPhone 6.
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 2, GM: Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) were up marginally this morning as the company prepares to meet with the United Autoworkers to discuss a labor contract.
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 3, TREE: Shares of TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS) were up about 1.3% on news that company may purchase the Ralcorp snack-making unit of food manufacturer ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) for roughly $2.7 billion.

Today’s U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)

  • PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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