Dow Jones Industrial Average Slides After ECB Interest Rate Announcement

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThis morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on the move as investors eye the European Central Bank.

The ECB announced this morning that it will leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged and said it anticipates low rates to remain for an "extended period."

Also, expect further speculation about the timing of the next interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

This week, several members of the Fed said that a rate hike this month is possible. That chatter comes at the same time that the Bank of Japan is preparing for even more financial experimentation with interest rates and easing programs.

On Wednesday, the Dow shed 11 points as investors weighed the timing of the next interest rate hike by the Fed. Investors were also watching the latest update from the Federal Reserve's Beige Book.

Wednesday's Stock Market Numbers:

Dow Jones: 18,526.14; -11.98; -0.06%                               

S&P 500:2,186.15; -0.33; -0.02%   

Nasdaq: 5,283.93; 8.02; 0.15%

Now let's look at the most important market events and stocks to watch today, plus your economic calendar, for Sept. 8, 2016.

What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a six-point decline after the ECB announced plans to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

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Oil prices are on the rise ahead of a critical weekly inventory update from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. After the bell on Wednesday, the American Petroleum Industry projected a sharp decline in U.S. oil and gasoline inventories. Investors will be eyeing the weekly inventory report from the EIA this morning.

This morning, the WTI crude price was up 1.5%, while Brent crude added 1.1%.

But the big news this morning is the fact that concerns about the Zika virus continue to slide under the media's radar. Zika has now spread to the United States. With Zika infections projected to rise in the United States, one biotech company is providing the best solutions to stop the threat.

Stocks to Watch Today, Sept. 8, 2016

  • Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) gained more than 5% on news that activist investor Bill Ackman has taken a 9.9% stake in the company. Ackman says that the casual restaurant's stock is undervalued and that he plans to meet with its board of directors to shake things up. But we're not buying into the hype surrounding the Chipotle stock price today. [Editor's Note: Here's why we recommend investors avoid this stock.]
  • In deal news, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) announced plans to sell a majority stake of its McAfee security division to private-equity giant TPG. The deal is for a 51% stake - including debt - for roughly $4.2 billion. Meanwhile, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) announced it will spin off off its non-core software assets and merge them with British firm Micro Focus International (OTCMKTS: MCFUF). The deal is estimated at roughly $8.8 billion. Shares of HPE stock were off 1.7% in pre-market trading.
  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is on the move after CEO Tim Cook unveiled the firm's iPhone 7 and a new swim-resistant Apple Watch on Wednesday. According to Cook, the new iPhone 7 has wireless headphones and has eliminated the traditional headphone jack. It is also waterproof and has a much stronger battery life than previous generations of the phone. Investors are still weighing last week's ruling by the European Commission that the company must pay $14.5 billion in back taxes and penalties to Ireland. This morning, Ireland announced it is backing the company's right to an appeal of the Commission's decision. Despite the ruling, investors have very little to worry about when it comes to AAPL stock. Apple is one of the best and most profitable companies in the world. [Editor's Note: Here's why we rank AAPL stock a "Buy."]
  • Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) were off 2% this morning as the firm prepares to report first-quarter earnings. Wall Street anticipated an EPS loss of $0.05 on top of $955 million in revenue.
  • Look for additional earnings reports today from Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH), Zumiez Inc. (Nasdaq: ZUMZ), Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC), Conn's Inc. (Nasdaq: CONN), and Violin Memory Inc. (NYSE: VMEM).

Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)

  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • 30-Year Bond Announcement at 9:00 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Quarterly Services Survey at 10:00 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11:00 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
  • 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
  • 3-Year Note Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
  • 10-Year Note Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
  • Consumer Credit at 3:00 p.m.
  • Treasury STRIPS at 3:00 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, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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