Stock Market Today: More Bad News for Citigroup and a Profit Hit at Greenbrier

Why Citigroup and Greenbrier stocks are on the move today.

Apr 3, 2014 at 9:00AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has gained a modest 19 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a flat start to the stock market today. Still, that tiny rise would be enough to set a new record high for the Dow. The broader S&P 500, meanwhile, is already in record territory.

There isn't much on today's economic calendar that would take the focus off of tomorrow's highly anticipated employment situation report from the U.S. Department of Labor. The update is expected to show that private employers added roughly 200,000 new jobs in March, helping push the unemployment rate down slightly to 6.6%. Investors can expect that data to move markets when it is released tomorrow at 8:30 a.m EDT.


Unemployment rate. Source: Federal Reserve Economic Data.

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Greenbrier (NYSE:GBX).

Citigroup stock was down 0.7% in pre-market trading after The New York Times reported that federal law enforcement agencies have opened a new criminal investigation into the bank's lending practices. According to the article, the FBI is looking into whether a recent $400 million fraud that Citigroup uncovered in its Mexican unit could be part of a broader problem. While Citigroup lost money on the deal, authorities are considering whether the bank was "equal parts victim and enabler" of the fraud, the Times reported. The inquiry may not lead to any criminal charges, but it still adds to the spate of bad news for Citigroup recently, which included having its proposed capital allocation plan rejected by the Federal Reserve.  

Greenbrier today posted earnings results for its fiscal second quarter that failed to impress investors. The rail-car producer booked profit of $0.51 a share on $502 million in quarterly revenue, while analysts were expecting better results on both the top and bottom lines. A changeover in a manufacturing line and production issues at another factory pinched the company's earnings in the quarter. Still, with the changeover behind it, Greenbrier expects profit margins to bounce back in the second half of the year. And thanks to a near-record backlog of orders, the company said it remains on track to deliver over $2 billion in revenue this year and roughly $2.60 a share in profit. However, investors appear to be focused on the profitability hit that Greenbrier took, as the stock was down 4.6% in pre-market trading.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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