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The Dow Jones today shed 60 points. The cause? Standard & Poor's downgraded Greece's long-term sovereign-debt rating.
The news offset early gains fueled by U.S. jobs and wage growth. January was the 11th consecutive month of U.S. job gains above 200,000.
Dow: 17,824.29, -60.59, -0.34%
S&P 500: 2,055.47, -7.05, -0.34%
Nasdaq: 4,744.40, -20.70, -0.43%
What Moved the Markets Today: The Greek debt downgrade came after Greece's new leftist government vowed to reject any deal that would maintain the terms of its current international bailout program.
Despite increased isolation from its Eurozone partners, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he would seek a "bridge agreement" to stabilize the country's finances until the nation can propose a new plan to address its debts. The ratings agency didn't like the sound of that and downgraded the nation's long-term debt to B-minus from B.
The January U.S. jobs report came in with the economy producing more jobs than analysts expected. The U.S. created approximately 257,000 jobs, topping consensus expectations of 234,000. The unemployment rate climbed from 5.6% to 5.7% due to a rise of Americans entering the workforce.
Following the jobs report, futures contracts priced into the market the expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates a second time by December 2016. The markets already expect one rate increase by October 2016.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- All About Oil: Crude oil prices climbed again today, fueling stronger performances for energy stocks. Brent oil prices experienced their strongest two-week gains since 1998 on declining rig counts and concerns about Libyan production. The number of rigs in the United States fell to 1,140 – its lowest total since December 2011, according to a survey by Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI).
- Twitter Today: The markets were hot for Twitter stock. Shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) are up more than 16% today after the company announced adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $0.12 per share on revenue of $479.1 million. Analysts were expecting per-share earnings of $0.06. The report could offer CEO Dick Costolo some breathing room from his Wall Street critics. It was a big day for the company, but we advise caution – the market's not getting this one right, and we'll tell you why…
- IPO Boom: Shares of Columbia Pipeline Partners LP (Nasdaq: CPPL) surged 21% on its first day of trading. The company priced its initial public offering at a range of $19 to $21, but shares surged as high as $28 during its debut.
- Fraudulent Filing: In a stunning "preliminary step" to handling increased tax fraud, Intuit's (Nasdaq: INTU) TurboTax has stopped the e-filing of all state tax returns. The company said its systems weren't breached; however, the software firm suspects criminals are using e-filing to create false tax returns to steal Americans' refunds. It is currently working with state governments to investigate potential fraud cases. Shares of Intuit slipped 4.2% on the day.
- Stocks to Watch: Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (Nasdaq: LNKD) hit an all-time high, rising 11% Friday after the company crushed earnings estimates for the fourth consecutive quarter yesterday. The business and social media giant reported adjusted per-share earnings of $0.61, beating estimates of $0.53.
- An Apple a Day: Apple stock was a late-day victim to ongoing geopolitical woes today. Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slipped 1% on the day. In an interesting development, ISIS militants have banned the use of all Apple products for fear that the United States and allied forces are using them to spy on their soldiers. The company also began seeding the first beta of Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. This was the first time that the company released details about the long-awaited Photos app for Mac products.
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.