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Dow Jones Today: The markets slid on Friday despite the fact that the unemployment rate slipped to a five-year low.
The jobless rate fell to 6.3%, beating expectations of 6.6%. In April, the U.S. economy created 288,000 jobs, but the labor participation rate slipped to 62.8% from 63.2%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 46.04 points to finish at 16,512.83. The S&P 500 slid 2.56 points to close at 1,881.12, while the Nasdaq was down 3.55 points to finish at 4,123.90.
Here's your recap of today's major market events.
- Banks Behaving Badly: The battle over Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) is far from over. This afternoon, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a probe to determine whether some hedge funds engaged in market manipulation or insider trading last year. U.S. regulators are trying to determine if the companies failed to disclose that they may have united to position themselves against Bill Ackman's $1 billion short position. Both the FBI and the SEC haven't accused anyone of wrongdoing. However, they did notice that the bets on both sides were "well-timed." The SEC has requested documents from the firms of both Carl Icahn and George Soros and is exploring whether Ackman engaged in any wrongdoing before he publicly announced his short position in December 2012.
- Ukraine Begins Unwinding: The situation in Ukraine is worsening again. On Friday, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting at the request of President Vladimir Putin and his government. The meeting comes in the wake of Ukraine's decision to send tanks into a pro-separatist stronghold. Fighting on Friday left many dead and saw two helicopters shot down. With presidential elections in the next month, both President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have warned against any meddling by Russia's government.
- The Alibaba Circus Begins: Thanks to its major snafu in the Facebook Inc. (NYSE: FB) IPO back in May 2012, the Nasdaq Exchange could lose the listing of major tech giant Alibaba when the company begins trading on the U.S. markets. Fox Business Network is reporting that the Chinese Internet giant is likely to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, a signal that the Nasdaq market is losing its position as the leading technology market for companies.
- Today's Big Loser: Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) slipped marginally on news that the company's first-quarter earnings fell by 27% due to falling oil prices and production. The company said in April that oil production is expected to fall this year as harsh weather caused steep development downturns in the United States and Canada. The company said that its U.S. crude prices fell to $91 per barrel, while its international production levels slid to $99 per barrel.
- The Recall Lawsuits are Coming: If a U.S. bankruptcy judge has his way, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) will hasten its settlement talks with plaintiffs over the lost value of any vehicle recalled due to faulty ignition switches. However, a deal is not imminent. The news comes in the wake of the U.S. government's announcement that it had lost $11.2 billion on its bailout of the company. This figure was more than the originate estimate of $10.3 billion.
Friday's Top Three Profit Opportunities
- The "Holy Grail" of Energy Investing Is Going to Make You - and Your Grandchildren - Rich: Storage has long been one of energy's biggest "Holy Grails." It holds the key to every significant move into smart grids. So the basic question becomes how to "save" energy from being lost. That's what's at the center of a breakthrough project our Dr. Kent Moors discovered this week...
- Profit Like a Real Estate Mogul (Without Buying Property): Today we're going to combine the two concepts of real estate and inflation and employ a very simple formula we believe will add to your profits. The formula: Inflation + Real Estate = Cash in Your Pocket. And Bill Patalon recommends two stocks we expect will benefit from what we're seeing...
- These Basics Will Make You Big Money in the Markets: By the time you're done reading this, you'll understand everything about investing and marvel at how simple it all is. You'll know more than your friends - even more than most brokers. And you'll start "seeing" the money in the markets. So, let's get started. Here are the absolute basics, the things you need to know about stocks...
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.