Stock market news today, March 5, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average roared back on Tuesday, leaping 227.85 points to finish at 16,395.88. The S&P 500 jumped 1.53%, or 28.18 points, to close at 4,277.30, while the Nasdaq gained 74.67 points to close at 4,351.67.
As the markets remain on guard over tensions between Russia and Ukraine, investors are now looking to tomorrow's European central bank (ECB) meeting, plus the release of US non-farm payrolls on Friday, for better insight into global economic recovery. Meanwhile, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will make a guest appearance on the world stage today when he speaks at the Annual Discovery Leadership Summit in Johannesburg.Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, March 5, 2014
- Fear and Loathing on the Eastern Front: Markets soared yesterday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that military intervention would only be a measure of last resort. With a temporary lull in tensions between Russia and the West, talks of economic sanctions against Putin's government are now heating up. This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are also likely to weigh in on Russia's "invasion" of Crimea. On Tuesday, Secretary Kerry visited Kiev, Ukraine to offer a $1 billion energy aid package.
- Another Online Retail Victim: On Tuesday, RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) announced horrible fourth-quarter results and its intention to shutter up to 1,100 of its stores this year. Shares in the company dropped as much as 19% on news that the firm has been unable to compete against online retailers and that its attempts to turnaround the flailing franchise have been marred by "mistakes." The firm lost $191.4 million, or $1.90 a share, last quarter after it was unable to drive foot traffic back to its stores following a steep advertising buy at the Super Bowl.
- Oversight on Bitcoin: Japanese authorities will formulate rules and opinions over Bitcoin in the wake of Mt. Gox's recent bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Takashi Mochizuki and Mitsuru Obe report that the Japanese government will "reaffirm that Japan doesn't consider Bitcoin a currency." The Financial Services Agency, Japan's financial services watchdog, is unlikely to "oversee" the digital currency, but it will recommend that it be subject to taxation by its government. In addition, The Financial Services Agency is more likely to view bitcoin as a commodity, like gold and silver. Therefore, the agency will probably prevent banks and security firms from including Bitcoin into their core business operations.
- Europe Shows Signs of Life: The Eurozone reported positive economic data this morning ahead of the Central Bank's report on Thursday. Economic activity appears to be picking up to its highest levels in three years. Seasonally adjusted PMI for the entire Eurozone contracted slightly from January's 32-month high to hover at 53.2 in February. At the country level, however, core economies showed better results. Germany reported a PMI of 53.4, a 33-month high. Italy's PMI struck a 34-month high. And the UK reported that manufacturing sector employment grew at its fastest pace since May 2011.
- Armed and Ready...to Profit: Gun sales in the United States continue to soar despite concerns of increased regulations. Weapon manufacturer Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) shattered earnings yesterday, reporting that handgun sales spiked 29.9% year-over-year. The company's third-quarter net sales hit $145.9 million, a 7% leap from last year. Shares spiked 10% in post-market trading last night.
Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility ahead. So we've outlined how to find profits in a volatile market - like triple-digit gains in just days - if you start with this strategy...U.S. Economic Calendar March 5, 2014
- MBA Purchase Applications at 7 a.m.
- ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
- Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 8:58 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Global Composite PMI at 11 a.m.
- Global Services PMI at 11 a.m.
- Beige Book at 2 p.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher Speaks at 7 p.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams Speaks at 8:30 p.m.
- Consensus earnings per share for PetSmart, Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM) is $1.21.
- Consensus earnings per share for Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) is $-1.55.
- Consensus earnings per share for Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: CSIQ) is $0.49.
- Consensus earnings per share for InterXion Holding N.V. (Nasdaq: INXN) is $0.15.
- Consensus earnings per share for Memorial Production Partners LP (Nasdaq: MEMP) is $0.55.
- Consensus earnings per share for Gentherm Inc. (Nasdaq: THRM) is $0.25.
- Consensus earnings per share for Speedway Motorsports Inc. (NYSE: TRK) is $-0.03.
- Consensus earnings per share for Federal Signal Corp. (NYSE: FSS) is $0.24.
- Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV), Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (OSIR), Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (SBLK), Coca Cola Bottling Co Consolidated (COKE), RigNet Inc. (RNET), Brown Forman Corp. (BF-B)