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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today slumped 56 points after a sharp decline in oil prices weighed down energy stocks.
The Federal Reserve was back in focus as traders eyed a fresh round of private-sector employment data. This morning, ADP reported the U.S. private sector added 177,000 jobs this month, slightly higher than economist expectations of 175,000. Of course, all eyes are fixed on Friday's report on unemployment in July. Friday's report could provide additional fuel for the Fed to take action on interest rates in 2016.
Let's look at the final numbers on Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,397.59; -56.71; -0.31%
S&P 500: 2,170.82; -5.30; -0.24%
Nasdaq: 5,214.49; -8.50; -0.16%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of tomorrow's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Energy Stocks Fall on Lower Oil Prices, Rate Hike Speculation
The sharp decline in oil prices battered large-cap energy stocks. Oil prices dipped as the dollar continues to show gains and markets anticipate a rate hike by the Fed. Oil traders are also speculating on whether global oil cartel OPEC may freeze production in order to support prices. This afternoon, the WTI crude price was off 3.5%, while Brent crude slid 2.7%.
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.
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On the earnings front, shares of H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) were the largest weight on the S&P 500 today after the company reported a huge miss in quarterly revenue. After the bell, look for earnings reports from Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM), Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX), Infoblox Inc. (Nasdaq: BLOX), and Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE).
But the big story today was in Germany. Shares of Commerzbank AG (OTCMKTS ADR: CRZBY) and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE: DB) pushed up more than 2.8% and 2.6%, 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.
Now, let's look at the stocks you need to know about today…
Top Stock Market News Today, Aug. 31, 2016
- Shares of AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE ADR: AZN) were off 1.1% on news that the company will pay $5.5 million to settle a bribery probe with regulators. The company has been accused of providing gifts and financial payments to healthcare workers in its Chinese and Russian units.
- Shares of Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) fell nearly 3% after the firm received a stock downgrade from Atlantic Equities. The investment downgraded DG stock from $99 per share to $78 per share.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were pushing up above $106 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 Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were flat after the company announced plans to bolster its Prime Now same-day delivery options and free one-hour food delivery in Houston.
Tomorrow's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks at 12:25 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 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.