Thursday morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was rising as markets eye a fresh round of economic data from the United States and in China.
Investors were optimistic after China's manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for August increased to 50.4. That's above consensus expectations of 49.9, a figure that would have indicated contraction in the Chinese manufacturing industry.
It will also be a busy day for automotive stocks.
Auto manufacturers like Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) will report monthly sales data. According to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg, the annual pace of auto sales is expected to decline from 17.9 million units to 17.2 million units.
That speculation is driving the dollar and financial stocks higher.
Wednesday's Stock Market Numbers:
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%
Now, here's a look at what else is moving the markets, plus a preview of tomorrow's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 33-point gain this morning as investors eye a busy economic calendar and updates on U.S. employment data.
Everyone is waiting for Friday's unemployment report from the U.S. Labor Department. According to surveys, the consensus of economists calls for a slowdown in hiring for the month of August after two solid reports for June and July.
Oil prices were sliding this morning despite optimism that OPEC could find common ground on a production freeze during a meeting this month. Rising expectations for a 2016 interest rate hike has the dollar appreciating in value, making crude less expensive. Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. inventory levels during its weekly data release on Wednesday afternoon.
This morning, the WTI crude price was off 0.6%, while Brent crude slid 0.6%.
But the big news this morning is today's date. That's because September is historically the worst month for stock markets. That's why we advise investors to be particularly selective. If you're looking to profit, these are the stocks you need to own.
Stocks to Watch Today, Sept. 1, 2016
- The Christmas shopping season kicks off tomorrow. We're not kidding. On Friday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) will begin its holiday layaway program. That's a full two weeks earlier than its 2015 program start. The firm says that it's attempting to get well out in front of competitors on the holiday shopping season.
- Shares of Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) fell more than 4.5% in premarket hours after the food giant fell short of Wall Street quarterly profit and revenue estimates. The firm expressed disappointment over "execution issues" that plagued the Campbell Fresh division. The firm also released a weaker-than-expected quarterly forecast.
- 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 billion in unpaid taxes. In an interview this morning, CEO Tim Cook said that he plans to repatriate billions of dollars back to the United States in 2016 while dubbing the EU ruling "total political crap." Despite this ruling, 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.
- Look for additional earnings reports today from Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO), Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC), VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY), and Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY).
- Finally, the 2016 election is upon us, and investors are paying close attention to the nominees. What industries will succeed if either becomes president? What industries will fail? No matter who becomes POTUS, the defense industry will see a boom in spending. Both nominees bring big opportunities for the defense sector. That's why we're highlighting the best defense stocks positioned for strong growth. Here are the stocks to own.
Today'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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