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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell due to ongoing election jitters and a large slump in oil prices. Investors are increasingly concerned by reports that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is losing her support in the polls. With so much uncertainty ahead of the election, gold prices are pushing higher. Gold prices rallied 0.8% and are hovering back above the $1,300 level.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – commonly referred to as the markets' fear gauge – added 5.5% to 19.6.
After the bell, keep an eye on social media giant Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB). Mark Zuckerberg's firm will report quarterly earnings, and analysts expect a very positive outcome. Wall Street expects an EPS of $0.97 on top of $6.92 billion in revenue. Analysts expect a 70% surge in profitability thanks booming advertising revenue. Money Morning has put together this report on what you can expect from today's big announcement.
Let's look at the final numbers on Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 17,959.64; -77.46; -0.43%
S&P 500: 2,097.94; -13.78; -0.65%
Nasdaq: 5,105.57; -48.01; -0.93%
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 Slide After Fed Holds Rates in Place; Oil Prices Slide
The Dow Jones dipped another 77 points as investors eyed the latest report from the Federal Reserve on interest rates and the upcoming presidential election. Investors also weighed a weak jobs report issued this morning by Automatic Data Processing (ADP). In October, the private sector added 147,000 positions in October, far short of the 165,000 expected by economists.
The Federal Reserve completed its meeting on monetary policy and, once again, the Fed Open Market Committee chose not to raise interest rates. In a statement, the FOMC said that the case for a rate hike is getting stronger.
"The committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," the FOMC said.
According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, the odds of an interest rate hike in December have topped 73%. Here's everything you need to know about the timing of the Fed's next rate hike.
The price of crude oil today plunged after government data showed the largest surge of domestic crude inventories in history. Last week, crude inventories increased by 14.4 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA). The weekly surge dramatically outpaced the one-million-barrel build expected by analysts. The news comes at a time when optimism over the OPEC production deal is fleeting. The WTI crude oil price today fell roughly 2.5%, while the Brent crude oil price dipped 2.2%.
Falling oil prices weighed heavily on energy stocks. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) fell by more than 1.5% on the day. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) dipped 0.2%. Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) were off nearly 5% on the day.
Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors is traveling this week, but he stopped to offer his latest insight on what to expect from OPEC and crude prices moving forward. As Moors explains, his sources just indicated that something dramatic is happening in the global energy industry. This has never happened before and it could change everything for crude prices moving forward. Check out the startling rumor that could unleash a new wave of energy profits.
Top Stock Market News Today, Nov. 2, 2016
- Jack Dorsey finally got some good news today. Shares of Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) rallied more than 4% after the company topped Q3 earnings expectations. The firm said that it saw a 39% jump in gross payments during the quarter. The stock received several upgrades, including two from investment banks Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) Mizuho Financial Group (NYSE: MFG). Credit Suisse said that the stock could rally as much as 35% in the months ahead.
- Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) plunged another 8.5% on Wednesday as the company's free fall continues. The firm's former CEO and CFO are both under investigation due to alleged accounting fraud. Shares had pushed higher on Tuesday on news that the firm was set to sell one of its key drugs. Even though the company could earn $10 billion for its stomach drug business, we haven't changed our stance on VRX stock. Here's everything you need to know about VRX and why you must avoid the hype and ignore the stock.
- In deal news, consolidation in the semiconductor industry continues to accelerate. This morning, Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO) announced that it will purchase network gear manufacturer Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) for $5.5 billion in cash. Shares of BRCD surged more than 10% on the day.
- Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) fell more than 3.6% despite news that the company beat both top and bottom line earnings estimates. Revenue increased by 55% over the full year, while active buyers jumped by nearly 15%. The stock was up in early hours, but reversed course in the afternoon. On Tuesday, we broke down the numbers for BABA stock and the company's quarterly earnings report. Check it out, right here.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT), Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN), First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FLSR), and Transocean Inc. (NYSE: RIG).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Factory Orders at 10 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index 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.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.