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Stock Market Today: Procter & Gamble's Venezuelan Headache and Deere's Sales Rebound

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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.

Investors can expect a flat start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) gained just three points in premarket trading. World indexes rose overnight, led by a rally in Chinese stocks after a new trade report pointed to surprising strength in the world's second-largest economy. But tech stocks could be in focus ahead of Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) quarterly earnings report, which is due after the closing bell this afternoon. Analysts expect the networking giant to post an almost 10% decline in both revenue and profit.

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , Deere  (NYSE: DE  ) , and Owens Corning (NYSE: OC  ) .

Currency issues in emerging markets will take a bite out of Procter & Gamble's earnings this year. A large devaluation by the Venezuelan government is forcing P&G to take a $250 million charge, and will be a continuing drag on earnings, the company said. Thanks to that charge and general devaluations of other currencies, P&G now sees full-year sales growing by between 0% and 2%, rather than the 1% to 2% range it had forecast. However, the company still expects to grow organic sales by the planned healthy 3% to 4% range. P&G's stock is down 1% in premarket trading.

Agriculture and construction machinery maker Deere today posted surprisingly strong earnings for its fiscal first quarter. Sales rose by 3% to $7.65 billion, while analysts had expected a 3% dip to $6.6 billion. Profit also came in well ahead of estimates, climbing by 10% to reach $1.81 a share. Deere provided an updated forecast for the next nine months, saying that lower farm incomes should push agriculture sales down by about 6%, but a rebounding housing market will help its construction business post a double-digit gain. Deere's stock is up 2.1% in premarket trading.

Finally, Owens Corning this morning posted quarterly sales of $1.28 billion, on par with what Wall Street expected. Earnings were $0.44 a share, well ahead of forecasts, as the company's insulation business returned to profitability in the quarter. That development helped give the building materials maker confidence to institute its first quarterly dividend since 2000, of $0.16 a share. Owens Corning said that a rebound in the housing market should continue to give its business strong momentum through 2014. The stock is up 6.4% in premarket trading.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos

Demitrios covers consumer goods and media companies for, as well as broader moves in the economy.

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8/31/2015 1:58 PM
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