Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 4/26/2016: Once again, the U.S. Federal Reserve becomes the center of focus for two days as the central bank kicks off its April FOMC meeting to discuss monetary policy.
There is virtually no chance that the Fed raises interest rates this month, according to CME FedWatch. However, traders want to hear the Fed's sentiment on the health of the U.S. economy and the headwinds facing other key economies around the globe.
Here's today's top stock market news, stocks to watch, ways to profit, and economic calendar for April 26, 2016.
What's Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today: The April FOMC Meeting
Dow Jones futures projected a 45-point rise as the Federal Reserve and earnings reports push into focus. Though the Fed isn't expected to increase rates this month, investors will be looking for clues on whether the next rate hike will come in June.
Here's a breakdown of why the Dow is pushing higher this morning.
- First up, the 2016 election is back in focus today as another round of primaries are underway. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump will look for larger advantages after elections in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
- Next, it was 30 years ago today that an explosion rocked the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The explosion forced 350,000 people to look for new homes.
- On the economic front, it is fitting that the FOMC meeting kicks off on the same day that the U.S. government releases two key indicators of economic health. Be sure to keep an eye out for the durable goods report and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
- Crude oil prices were on the rise as traders raised concerns that the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia could intensify over market share. WTI crude prices added 1.1%, while Brent crude added more than 1% this morning. Yesterday, Saudi Arabia unveiled a bold program called "Saudi Vision 2030," which is designed to diversify its economy away from oil revenue. For more on the platform, check it out right here.
- Shares of BP Plc. (NYSE ADR: BP) were up 4.6% after the company announced a huge quarterly loss despite several rounds of spending cuts in the last year. The plunging price of oil fueled a $583 million loss in Q1 2016. That's down from a quarterly profit of $2.8 billion a year ago.
Now here's your list of top stocks to watch in today's market, plus today's economic calendar:
Companies to Watch in the Stock Market Today
- It's another busy day of earnings reports. At the top of the list, look for a quarterly report from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) after the bell today. The firm is expected to announce its worst quarterly report since Q1 2003 due to weakened sales of its iPhone units. Shares were falling more than 0.6% in the morning. So, should you buy AAPL stock today? Here's the bullish case for Apple...
- It's Warren Buffett's world, and we're just living in it. This weekend, the 85-year-old chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) will cap his 52nd year at the helm of the conglomerate during the company's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett and others at Berkshire are expected to address a number of issues, including a possible successor to the Oracle of Omaha, its stance on American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), and the potential for more takeover deals in 2016 and beyond.
- Shares of Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) were up marginally on news that the company topped Wall Street quarterly profit expectations. The firm reported a combination of rising prices and its cost-cutting initiatives offset concerns about a stronger U.S. dollar.
- Meanwhile, shares of 3M Inc. (NYSE: MMM) were in focus after the manufacturer of consumer goods beat earnings expectations by $0.13 per share. The company cited stronger than expected profit margins for the March-ending quarter, although the firm cited challenges from fluctuations in a dollar.
- On the earnings front, look for additional reports from eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR), Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG), AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), and Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
- Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
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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.