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This morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up as investors eye a busy day of economic data and await results from several key central banks on interest rates.
The Swiss National Bank decided to maintain interest rates in negative territory. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is prepared to update markets on the status of its interest rates.
The BOE is also deciding if the nation will require additional stimulus in order to address financial damage caused by the Brexit vote.
On Wednesday, the Dow fell more than 31 points as investors continue to speculate on the timing of the next interest rate hike.
Wednesday's Stock Market Numbers:
Dow Jones: 18,034.77; -31.98; -0.18%
S&P 500: 2,125.77; -1.25; -0.06%
Nasdaq: 5,173.77; 18.52; 0.36%
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 60-point gain as investors prepare for a busy day of economic data. While investors digest statements from the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of England, the real prize comes next week. Both the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan will hold key monetary policy meetings where the central banks will take a long look at their rate policy and any stimulus considerations.
This morning, the WTI crude price was up 0.6%, while Brent crude fell 0.8%. Oil prices were trending higher after the Energy Information Administration announced a surprise decline of U.S. crude inventories by roughly 559,000 barrels. Economists had expected a supply build of 3.8 million barrels.
Oil price volatility has been back in the news. Speculation about interest rates is toying with the value of the U.S. dollar, which is affecting the underlying price of crude. Despite the wild swings in prices in recent weeks, Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains that he isn't concerned about oil volatility. In fact, it's a great way to make money.
Investors are keeping a close eye on McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD). According to reports, the company has received three final bids for its assets in China and Hong Kong. Reuters suggests the deal could be for at least $3 billion. The move to sell these assets is strategic as the fast-food industry in Asia has been a challenge for the global restaurant giant to conquer. The firm experienced a sharp decline in sales in 2014 after becoming embroiled in a tainted meat scandal that pummeled its brand image in China.
But the big news this morning is about Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX). During the conclusion of the Delivering Alpha conference in New York, the stock received mixed recommendations on what investors should do with the embattled drug company. LMM founder and CIO Bill Miller said that his company has taken a large stake in VRX stock. Meanwhile, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos said he is still shorting the stock. So, what should investors do with VRX stock? Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt has been recommending that investors short the stock for almost one year. In fact, Lewitt argues that the company could easily go bankrupt given its massive $37 billion in debt and future obligations. Here's Lewitt on why you should avoid VRX stock.
Stocks to Watch Today, Sept. 15, 2016
- Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) shares were eking out gains despite news that federal prosecutors in New York and California are investigating a three-year scam that ripped off its customers. The company fired more than 5,300 employees who took part in a cross-selling sales scheme that opened millions of fake accounts and charged customers fees for products and services that they didn't need or sign up to own. Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani has called this scam one of the worst in Wall Street history. Here's Shah's latest indictment of another Wall Street bank engaging in unethical behavior.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) are back to a 2016 high on growing optimism over pre-order sales of its iPhone 7. The company says that the initial supply of the iPhone 7 Plus has already sold out. As we have said repeatedly, Apple is one of the best long-term investments you can make.
- In earnings news, shares of Apogee Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG) rallied more than 7.8% after the firm shattered earnings and revenue expectations. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.77 on top of $279 million in revenue.
- Look for additional earnings reports today from Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) and The Marcus Corp. (NYSE: MCS).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- PPI-Final Demand at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Current Account at 8:30 a.m.
- Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.