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This morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was sliding on Wednesday as investors weighed the latest jobs data for the month of August. According to a report by ADP, the U.S. private sector added 177,000 jobs this month, slightly higher than economist expectations of 175,000.
The Conference Board announced that U.S. consumer confidence hit an 11-month high, while the Case-Shiller Index indicated another bump in home prices in the month of June.
In rate hike news, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans poured some cold water on raising rates. During a conference in Beijing this morning, Evans announced that because investors expect low interest rates in the future, the Federal Reserve can take its time before taking action on monetary policy.
Meanwhile, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said that the last eight years of low rates has fueled a dramatic rise in commercial real estate prices. He predicted that any reversal in U.S. economic performance could drive down prices rapidly.
Rosengren worries that rate normalization could make things much worse if the U.S. faces a recession.
Trending News: A Backdoor Way to Profit Now on a New $240 Billion Market
On Tuesday, the Dow slumped 48 points despite strong monthly data on the U.S. economy.
Tuesday's Stock Market Numbers:
Dow Jones: 18,454.43; -48.56; -0.26%
S&P 500: 2,176.12; -4.26; -0.20%
Nasdaq: 5,222.99; -9.34; -0.18%
It is going to be a busy day of economic activity, so let's get right to the most important market events and stocks to watch for August 31, 2016.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 16-point decline as traders weigh a report on job growth for the month of August. Markets are awaiting Friday's report from the U.S. Labor Department on the official August unemployment rate. Investors have been speculating on the timing of the next interest rate hike and the strength of the U.S. labor markets.
Oil prices were sliding again as the dollar continues to show gains. With the markets anticipating a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the months ahead, oil traders are also speculating on whether global oil cartel OPEC may freeze production in order to support prices. This morning, the WTI crude price was off 1.1%, while Brent crude slid 1.4%.
In deal news, shares of Commerzbank AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS: CRZBY) and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE: DB) pushed up more than 1.2% and 3.2%, respectively, this morning. Shares of Germany's two largest financial lenders were pushing higher on speculation that the two companies could merge in the coming months. The CEO of Deutsche Bank is pushing for the merger as concerns continue to rise about European banking profits and the sector's long-term sustainability.
But the big news this morning centers on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The U.S. State Department announced that it has discovered another 30 emails related to Benghazi. Meanwhile, everyone is asking: When will the FBI release the Hillary Clinton interview notes?
The answer to that question is coming very soon. In fact, it could be as soon as today.
Stocks to Watch Today, August 31, 2016
- Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) are in focus after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he had no intention to develop Facebook into a media firm. While everyone is caught up in a discussion about the company's politics, the real news is the latest catalyst for the FB stock price. Future revenue for the firm just received a huge boost on Aug. 19 when the company released Lifestage. Before we get to our Facebook price target, here's what investors need to know about Lifestage.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were ticking higher this morning as investors continue to weigh the European Commission's ruling that the company must pay roughly $14.5 million in unpaid taxes. Despite what everyone is worried about, the firm actually has very little reason to worry. Here's why the Apple taxes story isn't a threat to the company, and why the U.S. government is rushing to take Apple's side today.
- Shares of H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) fell nearly 6.5% after the tax preparer reported a larger adjusted EPS loss than Wall Street had expected. Today, look for additional earnings reports from com Inc. (NYSE: CRM), Box, Inc. (NYSE: BOX), Infoblox Inc. (Nasdaq: BLOX), Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE), Chico's FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS), and Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV).
- Finally, legendary investor Jim Rogers has added an unlikely investing target to his standbys of gold, farmland, and China. But you won't believe where he sees so much investment potential. Check out Rogers' latest insight, right here.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren speaks at 3:15 a.m.
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 8 a.m.
- ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Pending Home Sales Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 3:15 p.m.
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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.