Dow Jones Industrial Average Slips Five Points on Chinese Economic Data

Money Morning Contributor

Good morning! For Nov. 11, 2015, here is the top stock market news and stocks to watch…

Stock Futures Today

dow jones industrial average

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Wednesday) were down five points this morning as investors continue to focus on the Fed’s timetable for a possible rate hike and China’s mixed economic data for the month of October. China’s industrial production growth fell below economist expectations, while the nation’s retail sales jumped 11% compared to the same time period last year.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27 points on a choppy day of trading. A gain in healthcare stocks was unable to fight off a more than 3% decline in Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock. Investors remain on watch as expectations for an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve in December weighs on sentiment.

Top News in the Stock Market Today

  • The Stock Market Today: Investors will weigh in on Chinese industrial production and retail sales. U.S. markets will be open but U.S. banks will not in observance of Veteran’s Day.
  • Fed Watch: In a surprise announcement, Minneapolis Fed Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota, the most dovish policymaker on the Fed Open Market Committee, said he will not participate in the discussion next month when the central bank considers its first rate hike since 2006. According to CME FedWatch, the markets project a 67.8% probability the Federal Reserve will raise the benchmark rate from 0.25% to 0.50%.
  • Oil Outlook: Keep an eye on oil prices as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports weekly crude inventories. December WTI oil prices added 0.6% to hit $44.13 per barrel, while Brent crude prices gained 0.2% to hit $47.29. Yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute forecast crude supplies increased by 6.3 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 6. Meanwhile, Platts anticipates an increase of 500,000 barrels.
  • BRIC Blowback: Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) are up 7.3% since Oct. 23. One reason why may surprise you. As it turns out, the company quietly shuttered its BRIC investment fund last month, marking the end of an important era for the investment bank. Here’s why: A challenging commodity and emerging market landscape.
  • Square IPO: Shares of Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) will hit the market on Thursday, Nov. 19. The highly anticipated tech IPO will see a price range of $11 to $13 per share. Ask yourself: “Should I buy Square stock?

Earnings Outlook: M, NAT, NTES, FLO, PLKI, MED

  • Earnings Report No. 1, M: Before the bell. Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) will report quarterly earnings. The retail giant is expected to report earnings per share of $0.53 on revenue of $6.155 billion.
  • Earnings Report No. 2, NAT: This morning, Nordic American Tanker Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) will report fiscal third-quarter earnings. Wall Street expects the deep-sea freight company to report quarterly earnings of $0.27 per share on revenue of $69.92 million.
  • Additional companies reporting earnings include NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: NTES),  Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO), Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. (Nasdaq: PLKI), and Medifast Inc. (NYSE: MED).

 Pre-Market Movers: MCD, P, BABA

  • Pre-Market Movers No. 1, MCD: Shares of McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) were down marginally on news the company had its corporate credit rating slashed by Standard & Poor’s. The ratings agency cut the company’s credit from A- to BBB+. That leaves McDonald’s debt just three notches above “junk” status.
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 2, P: Shares of Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) were on the rise as the company aims to expand on the international front. Though the music streaming firm has struggled in the United States due to complicated legal battles over music rights, it is aggressively seeking to negotiate new music agreements regarding international rights tied to the music it plays.
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 3, BABA: It’s Singles Day in China, meaning e-commerce is expected to surge. So far, it’s already off to a massive start. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) announced it has already surpassed last year’s total of $9.3 billion. The company is expected to reach as much as $13.8 billion today, according to research firm IDC.

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

  • MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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