Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Slides on News of China’s Slowing Growth

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Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 4/15/2016: Happy Tax Day!

Here’s today’s top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit and economic calendar for April 15, 2016.

What’s Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today:

Dow Jones futures were down marginally this morning as traders digested earnings reports and focused on the growth rate of China. Futures indicated a 22-point decline at the opening bell.

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Here’s a breakdown of why the Dow is sliding this morning.

  • First up, it was a tough morning for China. The world’s second-largest economy showed that its GDP growth fell to 6.7% in its first quarter. The nation’s National Bureau of Statistics said that the country was growing at seven-year lows; however, the figure still topped economists’ expectations of 6.6% growth.
  • It’s time to break the glass for Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int. (NYSE: VRX). Reuters reported this morning that the Canadian drug company has brought in investment banks to discuss strategic options, which would include potential buyout offers. The company is turning to firms like Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) as the firm aims to divest certain assets in order to raise cash.
  • Apparently, Iran does matter. Crude oil prices were sliding over concerns that Iran will not join a deal among global oil producers to freeze global oil output. Russia’s oil minister said yesterday that the country doesn’t anticipate that the deal will result in any real price action. He also said that the country is planning for Brent crude to be roughly $40 per barrel. WTI crude prices are still reacting to a recent report by the International Energy Agency that stated global demand has declined by 1.16 million barrels per day over the last month.
  • Things are going from bad to worse for domestic oil producers. In the latest purge, Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (OTCMRKTS: GDPM) announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The firm is the latest victim of oil price volatility over the last 18 months.
  • On the economic front, pay attention to a speech by Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, who has been extremely cautious regarding monetary policy over the last year. Evans will likely comment on domestic inflation levels, which barely increased in March. Yesterday’s announcement that inflation remains low will likely justify the Fed‘s cautionary approach on interest rates.

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

Companies to Watch in the Stock Market Today

  • Citigroup (NYSE: C) announced earnings this morning, and low expectations helped push the stock higher. The megabank reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.10, besting expectations but falling well short of top-line earnings of $1.51 a share in the same period last year. Citi stock was up nearly 3% in premarket hours. If this were any other quarter – where Wall Street earnings expectations were reasonable – we’d be calling for people to resign at many of the top banks. But given that financial stocks already had a terrible quarter in terms of stock price movement, stocks are bouncing off near-term bottoms.
  • The deals are still happening. Shares of Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) climbed more than 7% this morning on news that it will be acquired Mitel Networks (Nasdaq: MITL) for $1.96 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.
  • Also on the earnings front, shares of Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) gained 3.5% after the firm beat Q1 earnings expectations. The domestic bank said that revenue increased 7%. The firm beat top-line expectations by a penny.
  • Today, look for additional reports and updates from Charles Schwab Corp. (Nasdaq: SCHW) and Xura Inc. (Nasdaq: MESG).

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

  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 a.m.
  • Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
  • Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
  • Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans speaks at 12:50 p.m.
  • Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
  • Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.

 

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