Stock Futures Today
U.S. stock futures for Monday, Aug. 3 forecast a nine-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average despite news that Greece’s stock market crashed this morning after reopening for the first time in five weeks. The Athens Stock Exchange cratered more than 22% this morning on its first day of trading after the nation accepted a bailout package from its creditors last month. Shares of the country’s four top banks, including the National Bank of Greece (NYSE ADR: NBG), were down roughly the daily limit of 30%.
Last Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55 points as energy commodity prices cratered, dragging down the sector, and weak wage data surprised investors. The announcement that U.S. labor costs for the second quarter saw their smallest increase in 33 years came a day after the U.S. Commerce Department reported a lukewarm second-quarter GDP of 2.3%.
Top News in the Stock Market Today
The Stock Market Today: Today, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index will be in focus. It will be a busy week of economic data for the United States after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided last Wednesday to maintain near record-low interest rates. Some speculate that the central bank will raise interest rates in September, setting the stage for an important July unemployment report, which the Commerce Department will release on Friday.
Oil Outlook: Oil prices slid to six-month lows as oversupply fears continued to rattle the global markets. WTI crude futures for September slipped 1.5% to hit 46.42 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent oil prices dipped more than 2% to hit $51.12 per barrel. Falling demand in China was exacerbated by news that the nation’s manufacturing activity unexpectedly slipped in July. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that production output in July by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hit its highest monthly level in years.
A Big Gamble: Gaming stocks like Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. (OTCMKTS: GXYEY) are in focus after new data indicated casino traffic continues to plummet in Macau, China. According to reports, gaming revenue slumped 34.5% in July compared to the same month in 2014. In June, revenue slipped 36%, a signal of a broader downturn in economic spending in China.
Earnings Reports: Companies reporting earnings today include Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL), American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), Chegg Inc. (NYSE: CHGG), Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX), Icahn Enterprises LP (Nasdaq: IEP), Loews Corp. (NYSE: L), Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), and Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN).
Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: NICE, TSN, XOM, CVX
Pre-Market Movers No. 1, NICE: Shares of Nice Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: NICE) were up more than 1% this morning on news that the Israeli software manufacturer will sell its video surveillance division to private equity firm Battery Ventures.
Pre-Market Movers No. 2, TSN: Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) slipped more than 8% after the meat producer announced per-share earnings of $0.80, falling well short of Wall Street estimates of $0.92. The company also reported weaker than expected revenue and slashed its 2015 outlook due to an increase in export disruptions.
Pre-Market Movers No. 3, XOM, CVX: Energy giants Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) are back in focus today after both companies saw shares decline more than 4.4% on Friday over weak earnings reports tied to falling oil prices. Shares of CVX are down another 0.7% this morning, while XOM stock is down 0.5% in the face of falling oil prices.
Stocks to Watch Today: YHOO, BHI, HAL, GS
Stocks to Watch No. 1, YHOO: Online search giant Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) announced on Friday that it has purchased Polyvore, a community-member fashion commerce site. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the new addition will continue to run as an independent company. YHOO share were unchanged in pre-market hours.
Stocks to Watch No. 2, HAL: European regulators have asked oilfield-service giant Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) for more information about its proposed $35 billion takeover of rival Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI). This comes in the wake of news that U.S. regulators are also seeking new information on the possible deal. Regulators are concerned about rising customer prices and declining innovation should they approve the deal.
Stocks to Watch No. 3, GS: Investment firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) announced in an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing the company’s potential legal losses topped an estimated $5.9 billion. That’s a sharp increase from the previous estimate of $3.8 billion.
Today’s U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
Construction Spending at 10 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 a.m.
What Investors Must Know This Week