Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops 75 Points on Apple Stock Slump

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For Dec. 9, 2015, here’s the 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:
17,492.30; -75.70; -0.43%

S&P 500: 2,047.62; -15.97; -0.77%

Nasdaq: 5,022.87; -75.38; -1.48%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Wednesday) fell 75 points and the S&P 500 fell into negative territory for the year as traders kept a close eye on falling WTI crude oil prices and shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) dipped 2.2% on concerns about the company’s hardware sales. Oil prices slipped as concerns about a global glut remain high due to OPEC’s recent decision to maintain high production levels in order to protect global market share. January WTI prices fell 0.9% to settle at $37.16 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil crude – priced in London – fell 0.4% to close at $40.11.

Top Stock Market News Today

  • Stock Market News: Seven of 10 S&P sectors were negative today, with energy, materials, and utilities stocks showing gains. Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) gained 6.8% on the day, reversing course from yesterday’s devastating trading session where the stock slumped after the company announced it would slash its dividend by 75%. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) added 1.3%, while rival Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) added 1.4% on the day.
  • On Tap Tomorrow: On Thursday, traders will eye the weekly jobless claims report one week before the Fed Open Market Committee decides on whether it will raise interest rates during its final meeting of 2015. In addition, look for an update to the Bloomberg Comfort Index and the Quarterly Services Survey. On the international front, markets will react to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s announcement on whether it will cut interest rates in order to spur economic growth as concerns mount about its exposure to a slowing Chinese economy. Companies set to report quarterly earnings tomorrow include Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), CIENA Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH), Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), Methode Electronics Inc. (NYSE: MEI), and Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF).

Stocks to Watch: YHOO, BABA, VZ, DOW, DD, BHI, HAL, COST

  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, YHOO: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) fell 1.3% on news its board of directors elected to not spin off its 384-million-share stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA). Yahoo is still expected to sell off its core Internet business in the near future if a proper suitor emerges. Recent reports have linked telecom giant Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Here’s why Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is keeping the firm’s $31 billion stake in Alibaba.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 2, DOW: Reports indicate Dow Chemical Co.(NYSE: DOW) and DuPont Co. (NYSE: DD) are discussing a merger that could be valued at more than $120 billion. It would create the world’s largest chemicals company by far. It is expected the new company would then break up into several different publicly traded firms. Shares of Dow Chemical surged nearly 12%, while DuPont stock gained more than 11.8%.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 3, BHI: Shares of Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) gained more than 7.4% on news that an executive at Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) said the deal to purchase the energy services company will likely be approved and close in 2016. Halliburton’s bid of $35 billion for Baker Hughes will create such a massive oil field services company that both firms already agreed to divest at least $5.2 billion in businesses in order to receive regulatory approval. There are many concerns that such a deal could fuel higher prices and reduce future innovation in the sector.
  • Stocks to Watch No. 4, COST: Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) were the second-largest drag on both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq after the company reported a decline in same-store sales for the third consecutive quarter. Shares fell 5.4% after the company reported a rare miss on quarterly earnings. Costco reported an EPS of $1.09, down $0.08 from Wall Street’s expectations of $1.17 per share.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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