European and Portuguese losses are dragging U.S. markets. Additional downward pressure comes from a delayed negative reaction to Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes released Wednesday, which revealed Fed plans to end its bond-buying program in October.
Here's a roundup of the the top stories affecting the stock market today:
- Slimming Down: Shares of Potbelly Corp. (Nasdaq: PBPB) plunged 17% in afterhours trading on news that the sandwich chain forecasts weaker-than-expected second-quarter sales. With more than 300 locations around the country - following an aggressive growth strategy - the company is attempting to shake up its menu in an effort to generate more store traffic.
- Default Nation: Shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) ticked in afterhours trading on news that global PC sales in the second quarter increased by 0.1%. The announcement is welcome news following two consecutive years of declining shipments.
- Banks Behaving Badly: Reuters broke the news late last night that German financial institution Commerzbank AG (OTC: CRZBY) will settle with U.S regulators over charges that it violated sanctions against Iran and other nations. The bank will pay between $600 million and $800 million, according to the report. Despite the pending settlement, shares trading over-the-counter jumped more than 2% on Wednesday. The news came the same day that BNP Paribas pled guilty to breaking embargoes against Sudan, Cuba and Iran, and agreed to pay a $9 billion settlement.
- Deep Decline: The recent surge in oil prices has abated as geopolitical tensions subside and oil production comes back online in Libya and Iraq, two nations broiled in ongoing civil conflict. Yesterday, WTI crude for August delivery slipped more than 1% to $102.18 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude, which is priced in London, slipped another 54 cents to $108.52. That's a steady decline from 2014 highs of more than $115 per barrel, which it hit in June.
Become a Money Morning Member for the rest of our top stories, including hard evidence of a surging upper class, today's economic calendar, good news for Zynga, and today's busy earnings schedule...
- Rolls Royce Sales Surge: In a staggering example of how the "recovery" has disproportionately benefited money managers and large stock holders at the expense of the middle class, Rolls-Royce Holding PLC (OTC: RYCEY) reported that sales have increased by 33% worldwide and by 60% in Europe alone during the first half of 2014. The Federal Reserve's easing has been beneficial to high-end products and luxury manufacturers.
- Today's Economic Calendar: Today's schedule features weekly jobless claims, two speeches from Federal Reserve Presidents, the Fed balance sheet, and the EIA Natural Gas report.
- Here Come the Lawsuits: Online and mobile gaming giant Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) saw shares increase more than 2% on news that Regina Dugan, Vice President of Engineering at Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), will join the firm's Board of Directors.
- Earnings Reports: Stay tuned for earnings reports from TravelCenters of America LLC (NYSE: TA), Joe's Jeans Inc. (Nasdaq: JOEZ), PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT), Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO), Ceres Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE), and Barracuda Networks Inc. (Nadsaq: CUDA).
Full U.S. Economic Calendar July 10, 2014 (NYSE: all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Wholesale Trade at 10 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.
- 30-Yr Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George speaks at 1:15 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks at 4:30 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
Be wary of "growth" in these propped-up indices - the signs of market trouble are looming...Tags: CRZBY, dow jones futures, dow jones today, FOMC Meeting, FOMC meeting minutes, Futures, GOOGL, HPQ, Nasdaq 100 futures, Nasdaq futures, PBPB, pre market nasdaq, RYCEY, s&P 500 Futres, S&P 500 today, S&P Today, Stock Market Today, U.S. federal reserve, ZNGA