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Dow Jones today: At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 134.60 points to finish at 16,457.66. The Nasdaq increased 43.24 points to finish at 4,198.99, while the S&P 500 was up 14.72 points to finish at 1,872.34.
Here's a recap of other major events today.
- Here She Goes: In her first public speech since becoming Federal Reserve Chair in February, Janet Yellen staunchly defended the central bank's stimulus efforts over the past few years. Yellen maintained that the central bank's commitment centers on boosting the U.S. economy and dramatically reducing unemployment. Citing the labor market's continued struggles, she said the Fed will maintain its efforts – bond purchasing and keeping rates low – through the rest of the year. The news brought confidence to the markets, particularly in the wake of concerns from her recent testimony that the Fed may consider raising interest rates sooner than expected.
- Try, Try Again: On "60 Minutes" last night, Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk shocked viewers by stating that he expected his company to fail at the time of its founding. Musk said he expected the electric car concept to fail to create market demand and that initial goals were to beat back widespread beliefs that electric cars were slow and boxy like golf carts. When asked why he would start a company with such a mindset, Musk replied, "If something's important enough you should try. Even if… the probable outcome is failure." Read more about Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla, SpaceX, and Paypal.
- A Big Bet on Housing: According to various reports, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman's firm is now the top holder in two government-backed mortgage companies. Pershing Square Capital Management LP now maintains a 9.98% share in Fannie Mae (OTC: FNMA) and a 9.77% share in Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC). Ackman's firm is now the top holder in both firms. The move suggests that Ackman believes the Johnson/Crapo proposal in Congress to break-up the mortgage houses will not pass and that the two stocks will surge as a result.
- Another Big Pharma Sale: Shares in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) increased by 0.9% on Monday after the company announced plans to sell its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics unit to the Carlyle Group. The private equity firm originally offered $4 billion for the specialized blood-testing company in January. The next step is for the deal to close, which is expected sometime later this summer. The Carlyle Group is especially excited about the unit's diagnostics products, according to the Franchise Herald. Very few companies meet the profit requirements Money Morning's Ernie Tremblay has identified, but this stock gives investors 18 ways to profit.
- Obamacare Website Fails on Critical Day: It's been a bad day for U.S. healthcare policy. On the last day of signups to be in compliance with the Affordable Healthcare Act, the federal website crashed and was offline for more than four hours. Following repairs, the federal government blasted a major marketing push, similar to a Get-Out-The-Vote campaign, to increase signups at the last minute. However, another glitch caused the government to shut down the site, and it will not be accepting anymore applications today. Coming into this morning, the federal government's plan to reach 7 million signups was off by nearly 1 million customers. If you think Obamacare premiums are high now, wait until they skyrocket in 2015…
Monday's Top Three Profit Opportunities
- Cash In on Russia's Booming Tech Market: Everyone is bearish on the Russian markets following the Crimean crisis. That's a big mistake. Russian stocks – especially Russian tech stocks – offer some of the biggest profit opportunities we see today. And as our Bill Patalon explains, there's one tech stock to buy now that offers a massive potential upside…
- A Metal Surge: It's been five months since we last checked palladium, the precious metal so critical to consumer electronics. Back then, Peter Krauth was bullish for several reasons. But now, he's picked up on a few other bullish forces set to create a massive spike in profits…
- The Secret Behind This Controversial Industry's Leader: As a long-time tech-investing analyst, Michael Robinson has one of the best vantage points in the country for tracking profitable marijuana industry trends. Clearly, the industry is growing rapidly, and there's big money to be made… especially if you hear about its best profit play today…
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.