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 weak start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.54%) lost 37 points, or 0.23%, in premarket trading. Overseas, markets were mixed in overnight trading as European indexes fell while Asian stocks logged gains.
Next up on the economic calendar is the release of the Federal Reserve's monthly meeting minutes. That report will give investors more details on the central bank's deliberations last month as it decided to scale back its bond-buying stimulus program for the second time. The Fed will release the report at 2 p.m. EST.
Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Garmin (GRMN 1.06%), Lumber Liquidators (LL 1.75%), and Spirit Airlines (SAVE 0.28%).
Garmin today posted surprisingly strong fourth-quarter earnings results. Sales came in at $760 million for the GPS equipment maker, down just 1% from the year-ago period. Analysts had expected Garmin's revenue to fall by a much sharper 7% to $713 million. The company saw continued weakness in its automotive division, which shrunk by 12%. Still, gains in its other four business lines of aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor picked up most of that slack. Garmin's earnings also rose to $0.76 a share, well ahead of estimates, as gross profit margin improved by 3 percentage points. The stock is up 12.5% in premarket trading.
Lumber Liquidators' stock is back near triple-digits -- up .9% in premarket trading -- after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings results. A 16% comparable-store sales gain powered a 22% revenue boost as customer traffic remained strong despite what the company called "inconsistent demand" in some parts of the country due to extreme weather. Profit also spiked higher by 51% to reach $0.74 a share. The hardware flooring retailer affirmed its guidance for 2014, saying sales should increase by between 15% and 20% this year.
Finally, Spirit Airlines this morning posted a doubling of its quarterly profit to $41 million, or $0.56 a share. Revenue improved by 28% after the airline boosted capacity, added routes, and attracted more passengers with its low-fare strategy. Key to that strategy is keeping costs low, and Spirit succeeded there as operating expenses grew by 20% last year, while sales grew at a faster 26%. Spirit's stock is up 2.8% in premarket trading.