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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today fell 22 points, but still rebounded from a decline of triple digits earlier in the trading session.
Energy stocks pulled the Dow and S&P 500 downward as oil prices slipped to their lowest levels since May. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) dipped nearly 1.5% and were one of the largest drags on the Dow. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) were off 1.2%.
Investors were highly interested in two rounds of jobs data this morning that precede tomorrow's all-important June unemployment report. But if that's all you paid attention to today, there are many things you might have missed. Those stories include how you can make money on the coming rebound in oil prices, where silver prices are heading next, and one company on the verge of solving one of the world's biggest crises.
Before we get to those stories, check out the results for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Dow Jones: 17,895.88; -22.74; -0.13%
S&P 500: 2,097.90; -1.83; -0.09%
Nasdaq: 4,876.81; +17.65; +0.36%
Now, here's the top stock market news today… and your best ways to profit.
DJIA Today: Energy Prices Slump on Positive ADP, Weak Inventory Data
Today's trading session was about jobs… jobs… and more jobs. This morning, the June ADP Employment report showed that the U.S. economy added 172,000 positions compared to the 159,000 positions that economists had expected. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor released its latest round of weekly unemployment data. U.S. initial jobless claims fell by 16,000 to 254,000, representing their lowest level since April.
These two reports are building toward tomorrow's critical June unemployment report. While jobs data may dominate the early news cycle, a number of other stories and profit opportunities await savvy investors on what could be a wild day of trading. Tomorrow's unemployment report will also be important in understanding the U.S. Federal Reserve's next step on interest rates. The June unemployment report will provide an argument on whether May's dismal report was a one-time blip on the radar or part of a more disturbing trend in the job markets.
Healthcare stocks were flat today despite a bombshell report that shares of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) had its worst day in roughly four years. The health insurance company's stock plunged nearly 10% on news that regulators are growing increasingly wary about its planned $37 billion merger with rival Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET). Rumors of antitrust concerns emerged on news that the U.S. Justice Department plans to meet with Humana about the deal. The primary anti-competitive concerns focus on the deal's impact on Medicare Advantages healthcare customers. Perhaps it would have been better if regulators didn't allow insurance companies to help write the anti-competitive Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) a few years ago.
AET stock fell 4% on the day.
The Brexit threat still isn't over. The world's largest bank Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) is in desperate need of cash and is dramatically overleveraged. The bank announced that it plans to sell $1 billion in energy debt in order to raise capital. DB stocks were off 3.4%.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank released minutes from its June meeting. According to the report, ECB policy leaders warned about the economic threat of a British departure from the European Union. At the center, they warned it could have serious growth repercussions for the world's largest economic bloc.
It's clear that the Brexit is causing some serious economic threats to the global order and the international economy. But as Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains, the next crisis in Europe is likely to center around the energy sector. Here's why.
Silver prices slipped 2.3%, falling below $20 per ounce after a strong run in recent trading sessions. Despite today's blip, Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth believes silver prices will keep climbing. Here's all you need to know about investing in silver and gold in 2016 and beyond. Speaking of gold, the yellow metal today slipped 0.5% after today's employment data. Here's where Money Morning sees gold prices heading over the balance of 2016.
Crude oil prices were almost hit a two-month low as concerns about oversupply rattled trader sentiment. Today's inventory report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration underwhelmed. According to the EIA, U.S. stockpile levels fell by 2.3 million barrels. That figure is still far below the 6.7 million barrel draw reported by the American Petroleum Institute after the bell on Wednesday. Despite the lull in oil prices, investors need to know that oil prices are poised to increase by at least 20% from today's levels by the end of the year. Here's how to profit.
But the big news was the latest round of mergers and acquisitions. Shares of WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) surged more than 18% on news that the Denver-based organic food maker will be purchase by French dairy rival Danone SA (OTCMKTS ADR: DANOY). The deal is worth roughly $12.5 billion and will help Danone expand its reach in the organic business industry in the future. Meanwhile, shares of AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG) were up more than 33% after news it will be purchased by Avast Software for roughly $1.3 billion.
Now, let's look at the day's biggest stock movers and the best investments in times of global uncertainty.
Top Stock Market News Today
- On the earnings front, shares of PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) gained more than 1.4% after the firm beat second-quarter profit expectations and hiked its full-year profit outlook.
- Companies reporting earnings after the bell include: Barracuda Networks (Nasdaq: CUDA), PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT) and Helen of Troy Ltd. (Nasdaq: HELE).
- On the deal front, shares of CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) are up 1.8% after the company announced plans to spin off its radio division. The company plans to make CBS Radio – which owns and operates 117 stations in 26 markets – a public company.
- Finally, here's your investment of the day. It's not often that investors should speculate about takeover targets. It's better to invest in strong companies with good cash flow and access to international markets. If that company just happens to be a takeover target, then that is an added bonus. But today's company doesn't just have all of these qualities. This company might just solve world hunger someday. Learn how to profit from "The Big Feed."
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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.