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Dow Jones Industrial Average Climbs Today on Surging Oil Prices

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If you’re like Garfield, you hate Mondays. But if you’re a trader who is long oil, you’re off to a great start. Markets are roaring this morning as energy commodity prices rallied…

For Feb. 22, 2016, here’s your top stock market news, stocks to watch, and economic calendar.

Dow Futures Today

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average forecast a triple-digit jump as oil prices surged and economists anticipated that the European Central Bank is poised to inject even more money into the world’s largest economic bloc. Recent data indicated that private business activity in Europe is slowing down, and given ECB President Mario Draghi’s track record, expect the central bank to start throwing cash out of a helicopter at some point in the near future.

oil barrels price increasing
Here’s a breakdown of why the Dow is higher this morning and what you need to watch later today.

  • Just in case you love the definition of insanity, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen stated over the weekend that the central bank is fully intent on maintaining its schedule for interest rate increases in 2016. That’s a bit odd given that the markets and traders don’t expect the Fed to do anything with monetary policy this year. In fact, CME Fed Watch doesn’t predict a rate hike until after February 2017.
  • Oil prices are surging on news that the number of production rigs in the United States declined more than economists anticipated. Both WTI and Brent crude prices are up more than 4% this morning after the International Energy Agency announced that a decline in domestic rigs could help alleviate the global oil glut. Ongoing oversupply concerns have helped push oil prices to their lowest level since 2003. A rising number of defaults in the industry has pushed the S&P 500 energy sector down more than 12% so far this year.
  • On Friday, the trading week ended with a thud after oil prices slid and materials stocks slumped in terrible fashion. Large-cap stocks Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) pulled down the Dow by 21 points, while tech stocks bucked the trend and helped the Nasdaq squeak out a gain.
  • Today’s trading session will center on the national manufacturing PMI, which provides a national breakdown of February’s manufacturing conditions. So far, regional surveys from different Federal Reserve districts have been underwhelming.

Now here’s your list of top stocks to watch in today’s market, plus today’s economic calendar:

Earnings and Stocks to Watch in Today’s Market

  • Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are up nearly 2% on news that the company has formed an independent panel “to explore strategic options,” according to The New York Post. However, the newspaper reports that the technology giant isn’t completely serious about putting itself up for sale and appears ready to engage in a proxy battle activist shareholder Starboard Value.
  • Shares of Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT) are up more than 3% as the company prepares to report earnings after the bell today. The stock has been absolutely pummeled over the last year, falling more than 60%.
  • Shares of Perrigo Co. Plc. (NYSE: PRGO) slipped more than 1% after investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) announced that it has slashed the firm’s stock rating to “Sell.” You also didn’t know that Perrigo’s stock is off more than 40%, but you do now.

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

  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
  • PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9:45 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 m.
Investors still want to know if we’re headed for a stock market crash, correction, or bear market. Here’s what our Money Morning experts predict will happen in 2016…

What Investors Must Know This Week

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