Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Slides with FOMC Meeting in Focus

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially flat on Monday as investors take a "wait-and-see" approach to the Federal Reserve's policy announcement on Wednesday. The Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) has largely held the markets hostage over the last 12 months with continued speculation over the timing of the next rate hike. Today, expectations for a rate hike this week faded; however, economists are increasingly anticipating a rate hike in December.

Let's look at the final numbers on Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 18,120.17; -3.63; -0.02%

S&P 500: 2,139.12; -0.04; -0.00%

Nasdaq: 5,235.03; -9.54; -0.18%

Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Tuesday's economic calendar.

DJIA Today: Dow Slips as Rate Hike Speculation Dominates Trading Floor Discussion

The Dow Jones dropped three points on Monday as investors keep a close eye on the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan. Both central banks will be offering their latest updates on monetary policy this Wednesday. Markets are expecting that the Bank of Japan is poised to slash its interest rate into further negative territory as leaders desperately attempt to spur economic growth in the world's third-largest economy. Once again, Japan is poised to try the same policy prescription while leaders click their heels and hope that the results will magically be different this time.

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Financial stocks showed gains after last week's abysmal performance. Banking stocks have experienced their worst two-week decline since the Brexit vote in June. But with rising expectations of a December interest rate hike, the S&P 500 Financial Index (.SPSY) ticked up more than 1.1%. Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) all gained more than 1.2% on the day.

Oil prices were pushing higher after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that OPEC and other major energy producers were working to establish a deal to support crude prices. Meanwhile, ongoing geopolitical problems in Libya threaten to disrupt the region's crude output.

The WTI crude oil price today added 0.8%. Meanwhile, the Brent crude oil price gained 0.6%. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors has just issued his latest oil price prediction. Be sure to check out where we see oil prices heading into 2017.

Top Stock Market News Today, Sept. 19, 2016

  • It was a good day for biotech stocks after shares of Sarepta Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRPT) surged more than 86%. The stock rallied on news that the FDA has approved its muscle disorder treatment. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (ETF) (Nasdaq: IBB) was up more than 0.3% on the day.
  • Once again, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is generating headlines over its massive scam that milked millions out of customers' accounts. The Senate Banking Committee is set to call on WFC CEO John Stumpf to testify about his company's banking practices. The "too big to fail" bank recently settled with regulators and fired more than 5,300 employees over the alleged fraud. Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani wasn't surprised at all by this scam, and he doesn't expect that anyone will go to prison or lose their bonuses. In fact, it's just business as usual on Wall Street. Here's his latest insight into why scams like these are always the norm for the financial elite.
  • It was a very quiet day for earnings reports. Shares of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ASNA) were up more than 2.1% as the company prepares to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the bell. Tomorrow, a busy day of earnings features quarterly updates from Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), and KB Home (NYSE: KBH).
  • Another day, another deal. Shares of casino giant Isle of Capri (Nasdaq: ISLE) surged more than 30% on news that Eldorado Resorts Inc. (Nasdaq: ERI) will buy it in a deal worth $1.7 billion, including debt. ERI stock was off more than 2% on the news.

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

  • Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
  • Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.

Up Next: How Small Investors Can Take on Wall Street... and Win

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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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