The Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Finishes Flat as Banking Stocks Rally

Dow Jones Industrial Average The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Thursday) added another 18 points despite news that financial earnings were terrible. If this were any other quarter - where Wall Street earnings expectations were reasonable - we'd be calling for people to resign at many of the top banks. But given that financial stocks already had a terrible quarter in terms of stock price movement, stocks are bouncing off near-term bottoms.

Here's what happened in the markets on April 14, 2016.

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First up, check out the results for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 17,926.74; +18.15; +0.10% 

S&P 500: 2,082.78; +0.36; +0.02%

Nasdaq: 4,945.89 -1.53; -0.03%

Now, here's the top stock market news today...

DJIA Today: Financial Stocks Continue to Rally Despite Underwhelming Earnings Expectations

Banking stocks were in focus during a busy day of earnings reports. Central to the calendar were shares of Wells Fargo Co. (NYSE: WFC). Shares were flat despite news that the bank's first-quarter profit fell 5.9% as low oil prices hurt its results. Wells Fargo reported a profit of $0.99 per share on revenue of $22.2 billion.

WTI crude oil prices slipped on news that Russia's oil minister lowered expectations about a possible deal among global investors. A report by the International Energy Agency also indicated that global demand was sliding by roughly 1.16 million barrels per day over the last month. Domestic oil prices were off 0.4%, while Brent crude fell 0.8%.

On the oil front, falling prices over the last year have weighed heavily on financial giants Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC). The increase in bad energy loans compounded other problems related to weakening trading activity of stocks, bonds, and currencies. Both firms announced they had set aside several hundred million dollars to cover bad loans granted to energy firms.

On the economic front, inflation isn't what the U.S. Federal Reserve thinks it is. According to new data, consumer prices barely ticked upward in March. The slow increase in inflation continues to justify the Fed's cautionary approach on interest rates. The data accompanied news that Americans seeking unemployment benefits ticked down to a nearly 43-year low last week.

But the big news today was about the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK). Shares of BlackRock were up nearly 2% despite news that the firm plans to slash 400 jobs and restructure the organization. The total cost: $76 million. The firm announced a 20% decline in first-quarter profits as global uncertainty affects the sector and the company experienced significant outflows over the last few months.

Now, let's look at the day's biggest stock movers and today's must-own stock...

Top Stock Market News Today

  • It was a huge day for Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL). Shares of the airline giant gained 1.1% on news that its first-quarter earnings increased by 27%. The company can thank falling jet fuel prices, which slipped 33% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2015.
  • Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) rallied again today after the firm receive an upgrade from financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). The bank increased its price target for the casual dining chain from $465 to $510 per share.
  • On the down side, it was a tough trading session for Seagate Technology Plc. (Nasdaq: STX). Shares of the hard-disk manufacturer slumped 18% on news that it missed third-quarter earnings expectations and faced downgrades. The news pulled down shares of Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) by more than 8% as traders grow more concerned about the health of the sector.
  • Finally, shares of 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) rallied 11% after the company received an upgrade from Bank of America today thanks in part to its new CEO, Vyomesh Joshi. This is huge news for the 3D printing industry. As we said yesterday, 3D printing has faced "growing pains" as a young technology. But, as DDD's surge today proves, brushing off the entire sector is foolishness. For one thing, 3D printing is on pace to become a $1 trillion sector able to disrupt everything from your neighborhood jewelry artisan to the world's biggest vehicle manufacturers. And our stock pick of the day is the best software company that you can own. It's poised to take advantage and profit from this massive technological revolution. Read all about it right here, and learn how you can capture an easy 77% gain.

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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.

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