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The Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed higher after a busy day of earnings reports, key economic data, and a surprise inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Let's look at the final numbers on Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,202.62; +40.68; +0.22%
S&P 500: 2,144.29; +4.69; +0.22%
Nasdaq: 5,246.41; +2.57; +0.05%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Thursday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Markets Rally After Oil Prices Surge; Fed Rate Timing in Focus
The Dow Jones rallied 40 points as investors weighed the monthly Beige Book from the Federal Reserve and energy stocks surged thanks to a big boost in oil prices. According to the U.S. central bank, U.S. economic activity increased at a modest pace in most regions of the country. Despite tightening labor conditions, the Fed said that inflation has remained stubbornly low. With the Fed's next monetary policy meeting quickly approaching, investors are looking for new clues into the timing of the next interest rate hike.
When will the next interest rate hike happen? We dive deeper into that subject, right here.
Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) gained more than 1.3% after the investment bank reported quarterly earnings in pre-market hours. The investment bank reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.81, topping expectations of $0.63. The bank said it bolstered revenue thanks to a 61% increase in bond trading income.
Trending Story: Is There a Housing Bubble?
It's been a positive week for financial stocks as investors cheer strong earnings reports and expectations rise for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates in December. But while everyone is growing more optimistic, another big story is brewing that everyone seems to have ignored. There is a crisis in the consumer debt markets… and it all comes back to one terrible word from the 2009 financial crisis: subprime lending.
The price of crude oil today rallied after a surprise inventory update by the Energy Information Administration. The federal agency reported a surprise drop in weekly inventory levels. For the week ending Oct. 14, domestic crude inventories declined by 5.2 million barrels. That was nearly double the consensus estimate of economists.
The WTI crude oil price today gained nearly 2.6%, while the Brent crude oil price added nearly 2.0%. The closing price of $51.60 for WTI crude is the best finish since July 2015.
But the big story on Wednesday happens when the sun goes down. This evening, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump squares off against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in their third and final debate. Markets have rallied in trading sessions after both debates, which markets say were won by Clinton.
Top Stock Market News Today, Oct. 19, 2016
- It was a rough day for Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). Shares of the chipmaker slumped by more than 6% after the firm issued a weak revenue forecast for the current quarter.
- Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) added another 0.6% on news that Google will be shaking up its search engine algorithms again. According to reports, the search giant is building a new search engine specifically designed to enhance mobile search. In the past, both its desktop search and its mobile search app ran on the same interface. With more consumers using mobile devices than ever before, the company needed to update its strategy.
- Shares of Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) gained nearly 1% in pre-market hours after the company announced a surprise profit in the third quarter. The oil field services provider reported EPS of $0.01, beating analyst expectations of an EPS loss of $0.06. The firm also topped revenue expectations.
- Investors will want to keep an eye on the IPO calendar. This week, CRISPR stock debuts in one of the most highly anticipated biotech IPOs of the year. There is a ton of hype around this company. Here's everything you need to know about the CRISPR IPO.
- After the bell, look for earnings reports from eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), and Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- New York Fed Bank President William Dudley Speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators 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.
- 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 5-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 7-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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