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The Belgium terror attacks dominated the news today, as bombs in the Brussels airport and a nearby train station killed at least 30 people and raised security alerts across the United States and Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered in the afternoon, but ultimately closed lower for the first time in seven sessions as airline and travel stocks suffered and analysts expect limited international travel to Europe in the wake of the attacks and two previous terror attacks in France over the last 14 months.
Here's what you need to know about the markets on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
First up, check out the results for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 17,582.57; -41.30; -0.23%
S&P 500: 2,049.80; -1.80; -0.09%
Nasdaq: 4,821.66; +12.79; +0.27%
Now, here's the top stock market news today…
DJIA Today: Travel Stocks Sink, Housing Prices Rise, the Brexit Takes Shape
First up, travel stocks were the worst-performing stocks on the day, while gold and government bonds increased. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Delta Airlines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) were all off between 0.8% and 1.6% on the day. Meanwhile, shares of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) were off 2.1%, while travel sites Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) and Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) were off 2.3% and 1.8%, respectively.
Oil prices also rebounded after a dip this morning following the Brussels terror attacks. WTI futures for May fell 0.2% to close at $41.45, while Brent futures for the same month gained 0.6% to $41.79. With oil prices set to break out in the future, Money Morning Global Energy Specialist Dr. Kent Moors explains what you can expect next.
On the economic front, U.S. domestic home prices gained 0.5% in January, according to the FHFA. Overall, housing prices gained 6% from January 2015 to January 2016. Meanwhile, American manufacturing is expanding, with the Markit Flash PMI registering a 51.4. The Richmond Fed manufacturing index hit 22 in March, its highest level since April 2010.
Finally, the British Pound slumped 1.1% against the U.S. dollar after the Bank of England maintained its base interest rate at a historic low of 0.5%. The central bank has blamed its falling currency on fears about a potential exit from the European Union – commonly referred to as the Brexit. Today's terror attacks fueled additional calls by pro-Brexit politicians to leave the European Union over security concerns and desires to have greater control of their borders. Do UK voters want to leave the EU? Here's the latest update as the pound continues its free fall.
Now, let's look at the day's biggest stock movers and today's must-own stock…
Top Stock Market News Today
- Following the terror attacks in Brussels, Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) activated "safety check" for the first time in its history. The application allows users who are in proximity to a terror attack, a natural disaster, or other major event to confirm their safety on the social media outlet.
- Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) stock fell 5% after the company announced it doesn't expect drilling activity to ramp up anytime soon. The news weighed down shares of other offshore-service competitors. Shares of ENSCO Plc. (NYSE: ESV) fell 2.7%, shares of Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) fell 3.1%, and shares of Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) fell 1.8%.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were up 0.8% after the company released its new iPhone on Monday and the U.S. Justice Department announced it may not require the firm's assistance in unlocking a device owned by the gunman in the San Bernardino attacks last year. The announcement led a federal judge to cancel a hearing set for today.
- On the earnings front, shares of G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: GIII) slumped 19.4% after the company badly missed earnings expectations for the quarter. In addition, shares of Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: MFRM) fell 7.1% after the firm reported weak fourth-quarter results and offered an annual profit outlook well below Wall Street expectations.
- Meanwhile, pay attention to earnings reports from Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD) after the bell today.
- Although shares of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) fell 2.1% after today's terror attacks, the company did announce news that it has won the approval of the Cuban government to begin travel to and from the nation's ports. Beginning in May, the firm can begin operations at the ports of Cienfuegos, Havana, and Santiago de Cuba.
- Finally, here is your stock pick of the day. Despite concerns about terrorism and violence around the world, diseases are the real threat to humans. Heart disease and cancer are the overwhelming leading causes of death in the United States, and biotech companies are working diligently to find a sustainable solution to extending human life. No longer will Americans have to rely on harmful chemicals or radiation to save their lives from cancer. In fact, a breakthrough in a treatment known as immunotherapy is poised to create a $110 billion market by 2020. And this is the company poised to lead this healthcare revolution.
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