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The Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed lower after a weak round of earnings reports and concerns about lower oil prices. Meanwhile, investors are eyeing some weakness in the labor markets. This morning, the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits increased by 13,000 to 260,000. Despite the increase, the U.S. economy has seen 85 weeks in a row of jobless claims below 300,000. That is the longest stretch since 1970.
Let's look at the final numbers on Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,162.35; -40.27; -0.22%
S&P 500: 2,141.34; -2.95; -0.14%
Nasdaq: 5,241.83; -4.58; -0.09%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Friday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Markets Slide After Verizon Reports Weak Q3 Earnings
The Dow Jones slipped 40 points after a sharp decline in telecommunications stocks and energy stocks. The price of crude fell more 2% after investors took gains off the table. Telecom stocks plunged after Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) reported weaker than expected earnings. VZ stock fell 2% after the telecom giant reported that its EPS topped Wall Street earnings expectations; however, the firm fell short of its forecasts. The firm reported an EPS of $1.01 on top of $30.9 billion in revenue. Wall Street expected $31.1 billion in revenue.
The price of crude oil today slid despite yesterday's surprise report by the U.S. 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. After the WTI crude price hit its highest level since July 2015, traders are taking some gains off the table.
The WTI crude oil price today fell 2.2%, while the Brent crude oil price dipped 2.5%.
Also on the energy front, investors need to pay attention to the Paris climate deal that has nations doing their best to slash global emissions output. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors is traveling in France right now, and he has been covering this global accord and the impact on the energy sector. Moors says that this investment… one you probably didn't know exists… could provide investors with huge returns. Check it out, right here. [Editor's Note: Sign up to receive more investing ideas from our gurus like Moors, right here…]
But the big story today is last night's debate between GOP nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. In a stunning conclusion, Trump did not say he would concede the election should he fall short. "I will tell you at the time," Trump said. "I will keep you in suspense."
With the election less than 20 days away, Money Morning keeps you up-to-date on a number of investment opportunities regardless of who becomes the 45th president of the United States.
Click here for our latest 2016 election coverage and start profiting today.
Top Stock Market News Today, Oct. 20, 2016
- Investors need to pay attention to cannabis stocks. With 60% of Americans supportive of the legalization of marijuana and several states aiming to liberalize laws during election season, it's a good time to have a small investment in cannabis. Today, CBIS stock, or Cannabis Sciences Inc. (OTCMKTS: CBIS), has rallied another 13% today. And this stock could keep surging as speculation on marijuana accelerates. Learn more, here.
- In earnings news, American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) rallied more than 10% after the firm rocked earnings expectations on Wednesday. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.24, well above the $0.96 forecast by analysts. The firm also reported $7.7 billion in revenue, topping Wall Street estimates.
- Shares of eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) fell more than 11% after the company offered a brutal holiday forecast. The company continues to face huge pressure from brick-and-mortar retail companies and e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). The firm also reported that it had 165 million active buyers on the site, a tick below analyst expectations. Here's more on why EBAY stock is declining today and what you should do with the stock.
- After the bell, look for earnings reports from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), Skechers USA (NYSE: SKX), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), and PayPal Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL).
- Finally, investors will want to keep an eye on our 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 tiny biotech company. Here's everything you need to know about the CRISPR IPO.
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks at 10:15 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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