Breaking news: The Dow components are changing effective September 23rd. Goldman Sachs (GS), Visa (V) and Nike (NKE) are in. Alcoa (AA), Bank of America (BAC), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are out. The changes come amid a September surge. Futures are up again this morning, following a 140-point climb on the Dow during yesterday's session. That put the index back above 15,000. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ hit its highest level since November 2000. So, what exactly is behind the climb? And can it last? Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has more in the video above.
The question of the afternoon is likely to be "How do you like them Apples?" At 1pm Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil two new smartphones, which will become part of the larger line-up. One of the phones is likely to be an iPhone 5S, basically a refresh of the 5. The other is being dubbed the 5C. It would be a low-cost model meant for emerging markets. The challenge here for CEO Tim Cook is adding to Apple's customer base, rather than cannibalizing the market for higher end phones. Apple is said to be in talks with China Mobile, China's largest carrier with 700-million subscribers.
Meanwhile, there's new evidence that Blackberry (BBRY) is getting crushed in the smartphone market. The Wall Street Journal reports that several dozen members of the company's sales staff were laid off yesterday. The paper says the cuts are part of a larger downsizing that's been going on for weeks. BlackBerry shares were up more than 6% on talk that a large shareholder has approached the company about a buyout.
Bank of America (BAC) may be planning to cut more than 2,000 jobs. Bloomberg says the bank is about to undergo a massive downsizing of its mortgage unit. The cuts come as rising interest rates slow the bank's "refi" business. Bloomberg says BofA hopes to complete the downsizing on October 31st. Halloween.
Twitter has made its largest acquisition yet. The social network has purchased MoPub, a mobil advertising company. No word on the purchase price but it's likely between $300 and $400-million. The acquisition is designed to bolster Twitter's ad sales as the company prepares to go public.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Five Below (FIVE) has been up as much as 14% since reporting earnings after yesterday's close. The discounter reported earnings of 11-cents a share excluding items when estimates were for 9-cents. Revenue also topped forecasts at more than $117-million. Sales were also up 35% in the past year, since the company first went public. That's due to both a 6.6% increase in same-store sales and a jump in the number of locations. Even prior to this morning's spike, shares are up 10% over the past month. They've retreated a bit from an all-time high set in March, but are still up 21% year-to-date.
Restoration Hardware (RH) rose 3% yesterday ahead of its earnings which come out this afternoon. The climb put the stock at its high level since its IPO last November, with an impressive rise of 147%. As of yesterday's close, the company had a market cap of $2.99-billion, so even a small move up today could push it past the $3-billion mark. But first, traders will have to see how rising interest rates are affecting furniture sales since there's evidence of a slowdown in the housing market. Analysts are expecting the company to report profits of 43-cents a share on$377.6-million in revenue.
Sears (SHLD) has soared for no obvious reason. The stock shot up nearly 13% during the regular trading session. And not on any news. In fact, at around 3pm CNBC's John Carney tweeted, "What the heck is going on with Sears today? Up more than 13%." We did some research on our own and found it could be due to an ongoing short squeeze. The gains put Sears stock up 27% year-to-date.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) climbed 5-% yesterday ahead of its first-ever investor meeting which takes place today. But if an article in the New York Times is any indication, the event could be a bit rocky. Columnist Jesse Eisinger questions how many K-Cups the company is really selling, plus what's portrayed as unusual movements in inventory as described by former employees. And for what it's worth hedge fund manager David Einhorn has shorted the stock, raising questions about Green Mountain's prospects and its bookkeeping. At this point, the stock has nearly doubled in 2013, up 98%.