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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell on Monday despite a strong performance from biotech stocks.
Investors were eyeing shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), which announced plans to purchase cancer drug manufacturer Medivation Inc. (Nasdaq: MDVN) for $14 billion. But energy stocks slumped after a sharp sell-off in crude oil prices.
Let's look at the final numbers on Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,529.42; -23.15; -0.12%
S&P 500: 2,182.64; -1.23; -0.06%
Nasdaq: 5,244.60; +6.23; +0.12%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of tomorrow's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Dow Slips as Crude Snaps Seven-Day Winning Streak
The Dow dropped 23 points after a sharp sell-off in energy stocks and more speculation swirled about the timing of the next interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The markets are anxious to hear comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who will give a speech this Friday on monetary policy at the Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
According to CME Group's FedWatch tool, the odds of an interest rate hike in September sit at 18%. Meanwhile, the probability of a rate hike for December increased to 53% today.
Exposed: The real reason Congress gets nothing done isn't partisan gridlock. It's that the primary duty of our elected representatives is no longer making laws – it's this…
Crude oil prices snapped a seven-day winning streak after analysts said that the recent run up in prices was a bit too optimistic about ongoing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Traders are now realizing that the odds of a production freeze by OPEC are not as high as some previously expected. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors warned investors two weeks ago that it is unlikely that OPEC will reach a deal during a meeting in September. Kent explains that Saudi Arabia has badly damaged its standing among other crude producers, reducing the probability of a deal.
A default is coming, and it's going to get ugly fast. As of the end of August, 113 companies had defaulted on their debt in 2016, already matching the total number of defaults from 2015. The year-to-date default count was also 57% higher than a year earlier. Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt says that the situation is only going to get worse.
Silver prices slumped nearly 2.3% on speculation that the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates in the months ahead. The metal has fallen more than 3% in August, but our latest silver price prediction shows a climb before 2017.
But the big story today was the bombshell connected to the Hillary Clinton email scandal. In a bizarre twist, the latest news involves former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has been dragged into this massive investigation about the secrecy of Clinton's email server. According to reports, Hillary Clinton had told FBI investigators in early July that it was Powell who suggested she use her personal email account during her tenure as secretary of state. You'll never guess what happened next…
Now, let's look at the stocks you need to know about today…
Top Stock Market News Today, Aug. 22, 2016
- There is another shakeup coming at the executive level for Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX). According to reports, Paul Herendeen — the CFO of Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS) – will leave the animal health company and take over as the new executive vice president of finance at Valeant. This decision has the fingerprints of hedge fund manager Bill Ackman all over it. Ackman is a large investor in both companies and is working behind the scenes to turn around VRX stock after it fell as much as 90% in 12 months. Despite this shakeup, Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt has warned investors to stay away from this company at all costs.
Tomorrow's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
Up Next: Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald explains that most people can't predict the markets. However, with so many people convinced that we've reached the market top, some investors are afraid to invest. As Keith explains, the sky is not falling, and we can point to history as evidence that great days are in the future for investors. Read Keith's insight, right here.
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.