Stock market news today, August 14, 2014: Dow Jones futures were up 17 points (0.10%) this morning (Thursday) following U.S. stocks' rally in the last trading session. Nasdaq 100 futures and S&P 500 futures were also both in the green. Yesterday, the S&P 500 Index saw a strong afternoon of trading, with all 10 of its sector indices making gains. The index is now roughly 2% below its all-time high registered back in July.
Here's a roundup of the top stories in stock market news today:
- Ending the Monopoly: The nation of Mexico announced plans to set aside fourth-fifths of new prospective oil fields for bidding by private companies as its begins steps to end its seven-decade monopoly on energy production through state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The Mexican Senate approved the reform deal in December, and the deal is expected to bring in an additional $10 billion in annual revenues for the country. With bidding expected to start in early 2015, American companies will likely focus on deep-water reserves in the Gulf of Mexico as prime targets, a boon for oilfield service companies and managers of oil rigs.
- Merger Mania: According to Reuters, General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) is in talks to sell its household appliance division to two international companies for roughly $2 billion. The report indicates that the company will sell its GE Monogram, GE Cafe and Hotpoint brands to Quirky Inc. and Sweden's Electrolux AB (OTC: ELUXY). The deal is part of General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt's strategy to focus on industrial operations like jet-engine manufacturing. News of restructuring today isn't the first for GE recently - just on July 31, GE spun-off its consumer-finance arm Synchrony in an IPO. You can get that full story here...
- Mobile Surge: Shares of Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTC: LNGVY) were on the rise on news that the company's first-quarter profits surged more than 23%. The world's largest personal computer manufacturer reported strong growth in mobile devices and desktop stations. The company is attempting to aggressively expand across multiple divisions with a strong emphasis on acquisitions as a primary growth strategy. In January, Lenovo announced two major deals. It tentatively agreed to purchase Motorola Mobility from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) for roughly $2.91 billion, and it planned to purchase a server unit from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) for $2.3 billion.
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- Digital Dive: Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) slipped in post-market hours after the company announced another round of layoffs to slash internal costs and improve its 2014 outlook. On Wednesday, CSCO reported a Q4 earnings beat. However, the firm said it will cut 6,000 employees in a "limited restructuring" of its operations. This is the second big payroll reduction at Cisco in consecutive years. Last year, the company cut 5% of its global workforce, or roughly 4,000 employees.
- Viewing Habits Changing: In an effort to determine the potential of gaining new advertising dollars and to better understand television viewing habits, Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has been working with cable network FX on new experiments in on-demand viewing. According to a report by USA Today, cable companies and TV networks could begin releasing multiple shows at once as "mini-bingeing" - a process in which viewers watch more than one episode back-to-back - becomes a more common habit among audiences. The report indicates that pay-television is attempting to shift audiences away from DVR to on-demand where fast-forwarding can be prevented and advertising is again viewed by widespread audiences.
- Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features the EIA Natural Gas Report, an update to the Fed Balance Sheet, Import and Export Prices, MBA Purchase Applications, and weekly jobless claims.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP), Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (NYSE: PWE), B2Gold Corp. (NYSE: BTG), Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG), Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), Constellation Energy Partners LLC (NYSE: CEP), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), and JC Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar August 14, 2014 (NYSE: all times EDT)
- MBA Purchase Applications at 8 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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