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Dow Jones Industrial Average Jumps Despite Drop in Oil Prices

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed higher despite a huge slump in oil prices. The S&P energy sector fell by more than 1.1%, with shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) dropping more than 1.3% each.

Healthcare stocks bounced back after a rough few sessions. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) led the way, gaining 3.5% after it raised its 2017 forward guidance.

Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 19,121.60; 23.70; +0.12%

S&P 500: 2,204.66; 2.94; +0.13%

Nasdaq: 5,379.92; 11.11; +0.21%

Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Wednesday's economic calendar.

DJIA Today: Dow Jumps on Positive GDP Bounce; Oil Prices Plunge

The Dow Jones added 23 points after a positive day of economic data that showed President-elect Donald Trump will inherit a strengthening economy. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, Q3 GDP expanded at a rate of 3.2%. That topped Wall Street expectations of 3% and easily beat the first estimate by agency economists of 2.9%. This was the fastest growth increase in roughly two years.

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U.S. housing prices are roaring right now. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, September 2016 home prices were up 5.5% higher than those in September 2015. Demand continues to surge at a time that there has been limited supply in the nation's largest 20 cities. According to home-buying site Zillow Group, the competition for new homes has grown so much that less than 50% of new buyers are able to buy the first home on which they make an offer.

The price of crude oil plunged as optimism over a possible deal among OPEC producers is fading. Despite a commitment by Iraq's oil minister to cooperate with the global oil cartel's goal of cutting production during the November OPEC meeting, doubts are starting to creep in for traders. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors says that OPEC is starting to panic thanks to a recent development that rocked the international energy world.

The WTI crude oil price today fell 3.7%, while the Brent crude oil price slid 3.6%.

But the big news today was the Federal Reserve was once again in focus after Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell said the case for an interest rate hike in December has strengthened. Powell said in prepared remarks this morning in Washington that the jobs market has strengthened and inflation is moving toward the central bank's target of 2%. His statement is very similar to the overall sentiment of the Fed's minutes from its November meeting.

However, we've seen the Federal Reserve change its mind at the last minute several times in 2016. The last time that the central bank increased rates was in December 2015. Will we see a repeat next month at the December FOMC meeting? We answer that question, right here.

Top Stock Market News Today, Nov. 29, 2016

  • In earnings news, shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) are in focus after the company beat Wall Street expectations. Shares hit a 52-week intraday high after the firm surprised markets by announcing revenue increased by more than 1% from last year. The company also reported its first jump in sales in eight quarters. The company did report a 2% decline in same-store sales, but the loss still topped Wall Street forecasts. The TIF stock price finished up on the day by 2.1%.
  • Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dipped 0.3% despite news that the company will be manufacturing chips for the autonomous car systems of technology Delphi Automotive Plc. (NYSE: DLPH) and Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY). The new driving systems will be released by 2019 and are expected to help inexpensive vehicles drive themselves.
  • Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) gained more than 3.2% after the healthcare giant hiked its forward guidance for 2017. The firm increased its 2017 revenue forecast to a range between $197 billion and $199 billion. That topped Wall Street revenue expectations of $196.6 billion.
  • After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK), Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), Guidewire Software (NYSE: GWRE), and Fifth Street Finance Corp. (NYSE: FSC).

Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
  • Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 8 a.m.
  • ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
  • Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome Powell speaks at 9:15 a.m.
  • Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
  • Pending Home Sales Index at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks at 12:35 p.m.
  • Beige Book at 2 p.m.
  • Farm Prices at 3 p.m.

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