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Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 7/26/16: The U.S. economy is showing mixed signals at a time that markets can't afford it.
Today, the July Markit Index slipped to 50.9, down from 51.4 in June. That is getting dangerously close to a reading of 50, which means a contraction in U.S. manufacturing.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board announced that U.S. consumer confidence remained unchanged, and that U.S. consumers are "cautiously optimistic" about future growth in the U.S. economy. We can expect that these numbers have been part of today's dialogue as the Federal Reserve meets to discuss monetary policy.
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But a lot more happened on Tuesday than what may have shown up in your news feed.
That includes a number of different profit opportunities and stocks to consider.
Before we get to those stories, check out the results for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,473.75; -19.31; -0.10%
S&P 500: 2,169.18; +0.70; +0.03%
Nasdaq: 5,110.05; +12.42; +0.24%
Now, here's the top stock market news today… and your best ways to profit.
DJIA Today: Stocks Slip After McDonald's Disappoints; Street Eyes AAPL Earnings
The Dow Jones shed 19 points as earnings reports disappointed traders and markets continue to eye the Federal Reserve's stance on monetary policy.
Today's biggest drag came from McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD). The fast-food giant's stock slid more than 4.5% after the company missed Wall Street expectations. The company said that its all-day breakfast demand has slowed down in recent months.
On the Nasdaq side, the index eked out gains despite a sharp downturn in biotech giant Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD). The stock slipped 8.5% after reporting sales from its Hepatitis C medicine underperformed in the second quarter.
The Fed Open Market Committee kicked off its two-day monetary policy meeting today. CME Group projects just a 2% chance that the company will raise rates in July. But CME projects a 40% probability that the Fed will increase rates in December. If the Fed actually does raise interest rates in 2016, this is the best stock to buy.
Besides interest rates, one other thing is also affecting sentiment on Wall Street: the probability of an election victory by Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Wall Street has been enthused after her selection of Tim Kaine as her vice presidential nominee. However, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has raised the likelihood of a Donald Trump victory to roughly 57%. Tack on the troubles of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, and we have a wide-open election. In fact, Clinton's top Democratic opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) offered an unusual speech last night. And one coded message in that speech could upend the entire convention. Read all about it, right here.
Gold prices ticked back up ahead of tomorrow's rate announcement by the Federal Reserve. Money Morning experts recommend buying gold today because we see gains as high as 278% for the precious metal by 2020. Here's why gold prices are going to rally.
Crude oil prices were mixed today as concerns about a global glut rattled trader sentiment. Markets are anticipating tomorrow's report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and expect that inventory levels are going to start turning upward. WTI crude prices were off 0.5%, while Brent crude prices added 0.3%.
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 Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) fell more than 4.7% today after the company reported weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The company is facing sales issues in the wake of Sports Authority's bankruptcy. Despite the downturn, the company made a major announcement on Tuesday. Under Armour plans to open a massive retail store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The store will sit in the former retail space of the iconic toy store FAO Schwarz.
- Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) were off 1.8% after the company was downgraded by investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). The downgrade comes after the company announced plans to pay $4.83 billion for the core Internet business of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). Shares of YHOO stock gained 1.4% today as analysts debate the next steps for the firm and its embattled CEO Marissa Mayer. What do we expect for the Yahoo stock price in 2016? We answer that, right here.
- After the bell, look for earnings reports from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), and Panera Bread Co. (Nasdaq: PNRA).
- Finally, here's your investment of the day. The crude oil price today fell to its lowest level since April 18. While some investors are worried about today's drop, this is actually in line with Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors' expectation of a "range-bound" price climate. According to Moors, crude oil prices are stabilized in the $40 range. It's all setting up for a huge opportunity for investors, starting right here.
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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.