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Dow Jones Industrial Average News, 7/29/16 – The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% rate in the second quarter, well short of the 2.6% set by economists.
It's bad news for the Obama administration, which hasn't seen an annual growth rate above 3% for the duration of his presidency. It's also another sign that the Federal Reserve isn't going to raise interest rates any time soon.
On Wednesday, the Fed said that it could raise rates again in September. But we're not buying it and neither is Wall Street. With the Fed and this weak GDP report the focus of today's media, it might all seem "doom and gloom."
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But cheer up. A number of positive earnings reports in the technology sector are pushing the Nasdaq in a positive direction. And we've uncovered several profit opportunities that you might have missed.
Before we get to those stories, check out the results for the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,432.24; -24.11; -0.13%
S&P 500: 2,173.60; +3.54; +0.16%
Nasdaq: 5,162.13; +7.15; +0.14%
Now, here's the top stock market news today… and your best ways to profit.
DJIA Today: Tech Earnings Support Nasdaq; Oil Weighs on the Dow Jones
It was a mixed day for the markets. Tech stocks rallied thanks to the mega growth of FANG stocks, but the Dow Jones still slipped 24 points. That didn't stop the S&P 500 from entering record territory again on Friday.
Shares of health insurance giant Cigna Inc. (NYSE: CI) fell nearly 5% after the firm reported weaker than expected quarterly earnings. But the big story with Cigna today was the market blackmail from another insurance giant. We all know that the big insurance companies got rich when they helped enforce a mandate that all Americans must buy health insurance under the comically named Affordable Care Act. But the U.S. Justice Department has sued to stop a wave of mergers that the companies need to reduce costs and streamline operations. Well, today, Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) said it would expand its Obamacare services into nine states, but there's a catch. The firm will only do it if the U.S. government approves its merger with Cigna.
This morning, the Bank of Japan announced just a modest boost in monetary stimulus. The BOJ did not cut interest rates deeper into already negative territory. The markets were largely expecting what bordered on helicopter money. Instead, they'll just have to settle for hundreds of billions in stimulus.
Crude oil prices were mixed after today's weak GDP report. WTI crude oil prices were up 0.8%, while Brent crude oil prices were off 0.5%. Investors are still concerned about a global glut in supply. Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) reported that the U.S. rig count increased by three this week. That brings the total U.S. rig count to 374. Despite several straight weeks of increases, we're still a long way from the number of rigs we saw in 2014 when prices were above $100 per barrel.
It was a pretty bad day for energy stocks after Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) reported earnings. XOM stock fell 1.2% after the company reported its worst profits since 1999. The company's earnings report fell well short of Wall Street earnings expectations. Is this decline an opportunity to own XOM stock? We tackle XOM stock expectations, right here.
Meanwhile, shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) gained 0.6% despite reporting a small loss.
Now, let's look at the day's biggest stock movers…
Top Stock Market News Today
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were up another 1% on Friday. The Amazon stock price hit an all-time intraday high of $766 after the company posted another strong quarterly earnings report. If you're wondering if you should own AMZN stock, find your answer right here.
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) added another 3.5% on Friday after the company shattered earnings expectations after the bell on Thursday. The global Internet giant reported a 21% increase in revenue and a 20% jump in adjusted earnings. The firm has seen an explosion in revenue from its Google sites and its mobile services divisions. This rally is just the start of something big for Alphabet stock.
- Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) hit an all-time high yesterday after topping Wall Street earnings expectations. Now, all the speculation centers on when Facebook's stock split will be. After all, the Facebook stock split vote passed on June 20, but no official split date has been set. Here's what you need to know.
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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.