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The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked downward on Friday as investors digested a round of statements from members of the Federal Reserve.
Most of today's decline was fueled by American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP). AXP stock slipped 0.9%. The Nasdaq slipped a few points after briefly hitting an all-time high.
Investors have been wondering if there is a stock market bubble right now. Others are wondering if there could be a big sell-off – a "Trump Dump" – in the weeks or months ahead.
Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald offers his insight on a possible sell-off and a strategy that investors must employ to protect themselves and profit from a Trump Dump.
Let's look at the final numbers Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,868.00; -35.82; -0.19%
S&P 500: 2,181.91; -5.21; -0.24%
Nasdaq: 5,321.51; -12.46; -0.23%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Monday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Gold and Oil Prices Slide Thanks to Surging U.S. Dollar
The Dow Jones dipped 35 points after a downturn in healthcare stocks and the dollar pushed higher against a basket of global currencies. The U.S. dollar's surge pushed gold prices to a five-month low of $1,208, and silver prices down 1.1% to $16.58 per ounce.
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It was a busy day of speeches from members of the Federal Reserve. Four members of the central bank spoke today. This morning, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he is leaning toward favoring a rate hike in December. Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George also supports a rate hike, but said that the central bank must be cautious and tighten monetary policy gradually. According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, the markets have set an 83% probability of a rate hike next month.
The price of crude oil slipped after Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) announced a huge jump in U.S. oil rigs. The oil field services firm said that the number of production platforms increased by 19 last week, the largest increase in a five-month recovery for the sector. There are now 471 oil rigs operating. The news ignited concern about a potential supply glut in the United States.
The concerns offset increased optimism that OPEC will strike a deal to cap production. Markets cheered progress on Thursday when the Saudi Arabian oil minister predicted that the global oil cartel would bind itself to the framework that OPEC countries developed during its September meeting. OPEC plans to meet in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 30.
But there was even bigger news happening in the energy sector today…
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, engineers found 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil under four layers of West Texas shale. At current crude oil prices, the crude is worth approximately $900 billion. The discovery is also a significant boost to U.S. energy inventories and has some people talking about the prospect of U.S. energy independence.
So, what are the Wolfcamp shale stocks to watch now? Money Morning breaks down three energy companies poised to benefit from the major oil discovery. Check them out, right here.
Top Stock Market News Today, Nov. 18, 2016
- It was a bad day for healthcare stocks, with the sector falling more than 1% on the day. Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) and Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) pulled the sector lower as investors took profits off the table from a recent rally.
- In earnings news, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) stock plunged more than 10% after the company fell well short of estimates. The company reported a big decline in same-store sales and continued to struggle in its effort to rebrand. Seasonal sales fell well short of Wall Street expectations. Both ANF stock and shares of Gap Stores (NYSE: GPS) fell by double digits after the companies warned that it could be a difficult holiday season for retailers.
- Meanwhile, shares of Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) gained 1.4% after the retailer topped Wall Street earnings expectations.
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks at 8 a.m.
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 2-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.