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 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) will open slightly lower this morning. The U.S.' premier blue-chip index looks set to drop 20 points at the opening bell.
Overnight, economic data pointed to continued growth in global markets. A new eurozone report showed that the region's recovery is gaining speed, as manufacturing output hit a 27-month high in September. Chinese economic data also indicated surprisingly strong growth: The country's purchase manufacturing index hit a six-month high, according to research firm Markit.
With those bigger trends in mind, here are a few individual stock stories to watch for in today's market.
General Electric (NYSE: GE) could attract some buying today. The company just booked a $1.9 billion contract to supply turbines for six Algerian power plants. It's a major order, as it covers more turbines than GE was able to sell over the entire second quarter worldwide. GE was also the focus of a bullish article in Barron's, which argued over the weekend that shares could rise 30% in two years. Barron's sees a potential spinoff of its consumer lending business as a catalyst that should lead investors to bid GE's stock up to a higher earnings multiple. Shares are 0.8% higher in premarket trading.
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is officially a Hollywood contender. The company nabbed the first-ever major Emmy award for an online video service when its House of Cards drama took home the prize for best director in last night's Emmy Awards. Still, Time Warner's HBO took home 27 trophies on the night, suggesting that Netflix has a long way to go in its quest to rival the major networks. AMC Networks' Breaking Bad won the award for best drama, which should give the show a nice boost heading into its finale Sunday night. Netflix shares are up 1.7% in premarket trading, near their all-time highs.
Finally, the fallout from BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY) disastrous second quarter continues. Shares caught several new downgrades this morning, including one from an analyst at Jefferies who estimated that BlackBerry's handset business is now a drag on the company, making it less valuable to potential acquirers. BlackBerry shares are down 6.3% in premarket trading.
Dividend stocks like GE can make you rich. While they don't garner the notoriety of highflying growth stocks, they're also less likely to crash and burn. And over the long term, the compounding effect of the quarterly payouts, as well as their growth, adds up faster than most investors imagine. With this in mind, our analysts sat down to identify the absolute best of the best when it comes to rock-solid dividend stocks, drawing up a list of nine that fit the bill. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.