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The Dow Jones plummeted 170 points Friday on mixed data about the U.S. employment market and a renewed plunge in oil prices.
Although the U.S. jobs report indicated the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, wages also fell across the board. Hourly wages slipped by five cents in December, erasing November's gains.
Dow: 17,737.37, -170.50, -0.95%
S&P 500: 2,044.81, -17.33, -0.84%
Nasdaq: 4,704.07, -32.12, -0.68%
What Moved the Markets Today: The dead cat bounce for oil ended quickly and oil prices slipped to their seventh-consecutive weekly loss. Brent crude temporarily crashed below the $50 threshold. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate oil prices at the NYMEX in New York slipped more than 1% to hit $48.30 per barrel. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) shed nearly 2%, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE ADR: RDS.A) shares fell 1.26%.
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Stocks to Watch: Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) slipped more than 1.7% this afternoon on news the company will settle a class action lawsuit over faulty mortgage securities. The company has agreed to pay $500 million to settle a case stemming from Bear Stearns' sale of $17.58 billion in faulty mortgage securities at the height of the financial crisis.
- Keystone Clearance: The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday approved the route of the proposed TransCanada Corp. (USA) (NYSE: TRP) Keystone XL pipeline through the state. U.S. President Barack Obama had claimed the case to be a significant roadblock for the project. Obama has vowed to veto the pipeline if Congress passes a bill calling for its construction. Shares of TRP gained nearly 1.3% in intraday trading.
- Proxy Fight: Activist investor Nelson Peltz has launched a proxy fight against one of the nation's oldest corporations. Trian Fund Management LP is moving forward with its own nominations for four seats on the board of DuPont Co. (NYSE: DD). The activist fund is aggressively pushing for increased consolidation of several of the firm's businesses into a single growth entity. The fund is also demanding that DuPont separate its specialty chemical business into a single unit. Shares of Dupont were down more than 1.3% on the day.
- Net Neutrality Battle: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today it will take up a controversial regulatory proposal in February calling for "Net Neutrality." FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will reveal his latest Net Neutrality proposal to agency commissioners in early February with a vote called for Feb. 26. Internet providers are against any government proposal to regulate the industry. (A breakdown of the net neutrality debate can be found here.)
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple stock rallied this afternoon after sliding more than 1% in the early part of the session. The stock was up marginally after Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) reported record sales from its App store and announced plans to partner with eight different credit unions as it expands Apple Pay. Other notable returns for tech stocks today include Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), which gained 2.76% on the day; Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), which fell 0.5%; and AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), which dipped more than 1% a day after acquisition rumors sent the stock soaring yesterday.
- Retailer Rout: Shares of Five Below (Nasdaq: FIVE) fell more than 19% on news the company's fourth-quarter earnings report fell well below Wall Street's expectations. Meanwhile, shares of PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT) fell 10% on falling first-quarter net revenue.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
This Investing Tactic Could Help You Beat the Market by 21.97% in 2015: This year will offer investors countless opportunities, perhaps more than ever before. But few of us are set up to take full advantage of them. That's because most people's portfolios are totally out of whack. But there's good news. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald has a stunningly simple investing strategy that can help you achieve significantly higher returns – 21.97% higher annually on average, in fact. And it only takes 20 minutes a year! Here's how to do it…
- The Perfect "Anti-Trend" Play: Between its crushing debt, aging population, lack of a workable immigration policy, and decades of abysmal fiscal policy, Japan is in trouble – thus Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald recommended shorting the currency via ProShares UltraShort Yen(NYSE Arca: YCS). It's returned more than 116% since the Japanese yen was at 76 to the dollar. But it's far from the only way to play Japan at the moment…
- How to Invest Like a CEO – and Beat the Market by 40%: After digging into a recent survey on CEOs, Money Morning Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson figured out exactly where today's leaders will be spending their dollars in the next five years. And he wants to show you how to invest like a CEO to take advantage of those long-term spending trends. Here's how to "follow the money" to find some great foundational plays…
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.