Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
According to stock index futures as of 7:40 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) will open slightly lower this morning, falling by 39 points at the opening bell.
World exchanges were little changed in trading overnight, and long-term Treasury yields ticked down to 2.74%, well below the 3% threshold they flirted with just a few weeks ago.
With those bigger trends in mind, here are a few individual stock stories to watch for in today's market.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is on a roll. Shares have risen for nine consecutive trading days, which makes for its longest daily winning streak since 2006, according to Bloomberg. And investors have a reason to keep that streak alive today, as Boeing received an $11 billion order from Lufthansa for 34 of its newest 777X planes. The 777X hasn't been unveiled yet, but it promises to boost performance with the largest wing Boeing has ever put on a plane. Boeing stock is up 0.5% in premarket trading.
Outside the Dow, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) will be in focus as it begins selling its new iPhone 5c and 5s devices in markets around the world, including China. When the iPhone 5 launched a year ago, Apple sold 5 million units over its first weekend. But that figure didn't include the Chinese market, which launched separately and added 2 million device sales in its opening weekend. With China in the mix this time, Apple could have a record weekend, selling as many as 7 million devices over the next three days. Still, supply constraints might get in the way and push that number closer to 5 million. Apple's stock is up 1% in premarket trading.
Finally, Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI ) is still shrinking. The restaurant operator reported this morning that sales at its Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse brands fell by 3.3% in its fiscal first quarter. Darden's profit plummeted 37.6% to $0.35 per share. Revenue was up 6%, almost completely due to new restaurant openings. The company also announced plans to cut $50 million from its budget, partially through layoffs. While income investors might find its 4.5% yield attractive, I would look for dividends elsewhere, as Darden appears to have a tough slog ahead in convincing customers to flock back into its booths. Darden's shares are down more than 4% in premarket trading.
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