Start the conversation
The Dow Jones Industrial Average today was pushing back toward record territory – adding 241 points – after a huge U.S. jobs report restored short-term optimism and unleashed a flurry of buying. But investors should know that much more happened today, and a number of profit opportunities presented themselves for savvy investors.
Before we get to those stories, check out the results for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Trending: Brexit Triggers Rush to "Insure" Life Savings: Billionaires are sinking millions into "crash insurance" in an effort to protect themselves against another 2008-style meltdown. If you haven't shielded your holdings you better act now before all hell breaks loose. Read more…
Dow Jones: 18,137.01; +241.13; +1.35%
S&P 500: 2,129.46; +31.56; +1.50%
Nasdaq: 4,956.76; +79.95; +1.64%
Now, here's the top stock market news today… and your best ways to profit.
DJIA Today: U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 4.9%; Oil Prices Push Higher
Today's trading session was about jobs… jobs… and more jobs…
June's unemployment rate rose to 4.9% as the country added 287,000 jobs. That's a significant increase over the consensus projection of 175,000 jobs. Analysts said that the 35,000 workers returning from a strike at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) helped boost the jobs total.
Naturally, the positive jobs report sent off a flurry of speculation over what the U.S. Federal Reserve will do next with interest rates. Today's report sent the probability of a rate hike higher, according to CME FedWatch. Prior to the announcement, the markets saw just a 19% chance of a rate hike by December. Following the positive jobs report, the probability increased.
What most of the media missed, however, is how investors can profit. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald shows you what to do before the Fed takes any action and explains that the timing of the rate hike doesn't matter to smart investors.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices were rising steadily after the Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) rig count saw its fifth-straight weekly increase. The United States added 10 rigs, bringing the national total to 351. WTI crude prices gained 0.7%, while Brent crude prices added 0.5%.
Rising oil prices have brought Big Oil back into the fold. According to reports, Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), BP Plc. (NYSE: BP), and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) plan to collectively invest another $45 billion on global production projects. It's just one sign 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 today continued to focus on the "dumpster fire" that has become the 2016 presidential election. On Thursday, the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing with her private email system, despite saying that the former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic nominee was careless with security. FBI Director James Comey appeared on Capitol Hill and testified for several hours about his agency's recommendation of "no charges." Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to draw headlines for his flamboyant statements. As it turns out, neither of these candidates are popular. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month found that close to two-thirds of voters – 60% – have a negative view of Donald Trump, while 55% have a negative view of Hillary Clinton. This clears the way for a shocking possibility for the 2016 election.
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 Barracuda Networks (Nasdaq: CUDA) rallied 17% after the company beat top- and bottom-line analyst expectations after the bell yesterday. The company reported an EPS of $0.20, besting estimates of $0.11. Meanwhile, the firm saw an 11% hike in quarterly revenue.
- No major U.S. companies reported earnings on Friday.
- Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) gained 1.2% despite news that the social media giant is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. The federal tax agency is looking into whether the social networking giant undervalued the price of its intellectual property assets when it shifted them to Ireland to reduce its tax burden. The IRS wants to decide if Facebook sold these assets too cheaply to its Irish subsidiary.
- In deal news, shares of Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) rallied more than 12% on news that private-equity firm Siris Capital plans to purchase the networking giant. The price tag: Roughly $2 billion. The news also sent shares of Mitel Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: MITL) surging 18%. The Siris deal ended Polycom's planned merger with Mitel, which waived its right to match the $12.50-per-share offer.
- Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) were up 2% despite news that the company faces an investigation into possible brake failure on more than 430,000 motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today that it was looking at the antilock braking systems of models from 2008 to 2011.
- 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."
It's the Ultimate "Must-Have" Investment… And yet millions of investors have never even considered it, let alone know how to play it for maximum profits. This could make the oil rush to $140 a barrel in 2008 look like amateur hour. Read more…
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.