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This morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is on the rise as investors weigh pre-market earnings reports from several big companies and the first estimate of Q3 GDP.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced at 8:30 a.m. that Q3 GDP jumped 2.9%, well above economists' expectations.
As a busy earnings week winds down, expect investors to turn their attention back to the Federal Reserve. The U.S. central bank will kick off its meeting on monetary policy on Tuesday.
Markets do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates.
However, the markets have placed the odds of a rate hike in December at nearly 79%.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones fell 29 points after a round of lackluster economic data rattled investor sentiment and real estate stocks slumped nearly 2%.
Thursday's Stock Market Numbers:
Dow Jones: 18,169.68; -29.65; -0.16%
S&P 500: 2,133.04; -6.39; -0.30%
Nasdaq: 5,215.97; -34.29; -0.65%
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 21-point gain as investors eye key economic data and earnings reports from two of the world's largest energy companies. The 2.9% jump in Q3 GDP is one of the best readings in years and topped consensus expectations of 2.5%. Expect a lot of chatter about what this means for the Fed later today.
Look out for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report later this morning to gauge how Americans are feeling about the state of the economy. This update is the last monthly report before the 2016 presidential election.
The price of crude oil today is falling again as traders grow increasingly skeptical of OPEC implementing its upcoming production cuts. Iraq's demand for an exemption to the deal has thrown a wrench into the global oil cartel's plans to help boost prices by capping excessive production. Declining sentiment places even greater pressure on the cartel as it prepares for its next meeting in November. Here's the latest on the next OPEC meeting and what it means for oil prices.
The WTI crude oil price today fell 0.8%, while the Brent crude oil price dipped 0.2%. Expect some additional price movement in the early afternoon when Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) releases its weekly U.S. rig count, which is a proxy for domestic crude production.
In other energy news, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) slipped 0.8% after the global energy giant reported Q3 earnings. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.63, topping analyst expectations of $0.60. However, the energy giant's revenue fell short of expectations. XOM rival Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) will report earnings later this morning.
But the big story in pre-market hours is Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). The e-commerce giant saw its shares sink more than 4% to a two-month low after the firm offered a weak earnings report and troubling forward guidance heading into the holiday season. The company says that substantial investment will likely drag down profits during the fourth quarter.
Stocks to Watch Today, Oct. 28, 2016
- General Electric Co. (NYSE: GM) is not pursuing a takeover deal of Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI). The global manufacturing giant denied speculation that it was considering a bid. In a statement, GE said that it is exploring strategic partnerships between the two companies. The speculation began when The Wall Street Journal reported that GM had approached Baker Hughes about a possible deal. The news comes a week after GE showed sluggish revenue, which were weighed down by weakness in its oil and gas business. BHI stock rallied 6.2% in pre-market hours.
- Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) kicked off today's session with a positive earnings report. The credit card giant reported EPS of $1.08 on top of $2.88 billion in revenue. That beat Wall Street expectations of $0.98 on top of $2.79 billion. The solid report comes not long after a report indicated that U.S. consumer spending was flat in August.
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) were ticking higher after the company topped expectations after the bell on Thursday. Shares climbed 1.1% after the firm reported an EPS figure of $9.06, besting expectations of $8.63. The internet giant reported a huge boost in advertising revenue, an 18.1% increase over the same period last year. Just this week, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald outlined an investment strategy that can help you double your money with Google. Learn all about this Total Wealth Tactic, right here.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY), Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX), AbbVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ABBV), and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Nasdaq: GT).
- Finally, if you're looking for the best stocks to buy now, you need to follow a major rule. Keep in mind that just because a stock has experienced steady gains or recently hit a 52-week high, that doesn't mean it's "too late" to take a stake in the firm. This morning, we outline three of our favorite stocks that have seen tremendous success in recent years. And, as we explain, all three have plenty of room for significant gains in the months and years ahead. Check them out, right here.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Employment Cost Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count (NYSE: BHI) at 1 p.m.
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