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Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Climbs Thanks to OPEC Deal

record-highsThe Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed higher again Thursday as investors cheered OPEC's crude oil production deal. Investors also digested a fresh round of economic data in preparation for tomorrow's release of the November jobs report.

The Nasdaq fell another 1.5%, and the S&P 500 declined after technology stocks had their worst day in months. Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) fell nearly 3% after the company received a price downgrade from investment research firm Canaccord Genuity.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) both fell, pushing the Nasdaq to a two-week low.

Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 19,191.93; 68.35; +0.36%

S&P 500: 2,191.08; -7.73; -0.35%

Nasdaq: 5,251.11; -72.57; -1.36%

Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Friday's economic calendar.

DJIA Today: Dow Rallies to New High Thanks to Oil Price Surge, Auto Rally

The Dow Jones gained 68 points as investors digested a mixed round of economic data and cheered a huge day for the automotive sector. Retail stocks struggled after a bad series of earnings reports, but energy stocks rallied higher thanks to a rally in oil prices. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) added 1.7%, while Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) gained 4.6% before retreating for a small gain.

The biggest winner today in the energy sector was oil producer W&T Offshore Inc. (NYSE: WTI), which saw its shares rally more than 23%.

Trending: The Subprime Auto Loan Market Is About to Collapse – Here's How to Profit

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased from 51.9 in October to 53.2 in November, a figure that signaled the expansion of the sector. Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped another 17,000 to 268,000. The figure is near a 43-year low and comes a day after ADP reported that the U.S. private sector added 216,000 jobs in November.

Tomorrow investors will be eyeing the November jobs report, which will significantly influence the Federal Reserve's upcoming decision on whether or not to raise interest rates.

It was a mixed day of earnings for retail stocks. Lands' End Inc. (Nasdaq: LE) disappointed investors with its quarterly report and raised concerns about the upcoming holiday shopping season. Shares of Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) cratered more than 21% after the retailer topped Wall Street revenue expectations but fell short of profit estimates. Finally, shares of Guess Inc. (NYSE: GES) fell nearly 10% after the company slashed its forward guidance.

The bright spot was PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH), the owner of the Calvin Klein brand, which gained close to 2%.

It's been a brutal time for retail stocks. Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt explains that Black Friday was a disaster for the sector. But you can make real money from the demise of traditional retail shopping. Lewitt outlines the best way to profit and invites you to learn more about his secret weapon to capture a whole new round of profits. Read it, here.

The WTI crude oil price today added 2.8% and passed $50 per barrel. Meanwhile, the Brent crude oil price gained 3.5%. Crude prices continue to rise after OPEC announced that it had struck a new accord to cap excessive production of oil. It was the cartel's first official production agreement since 2008. Key to the deal, Saudi Arabia said it would cut its record production to get its arch rival Iran to agree to the deal.

Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains that there are still many challenges ahead while pundits and analysts celebrate the ink drying on the agreement. As Moors explains, the global oil cartel must now enforce the agreement. With so many members looking out for their economies, it could be a rocky road. But Moors offers a reason – one reason – for optimism. Here's the one reason why the OPEC deal could succeed and push crude prices up.

The other big development today is the speculation over a huge event happening in Europe this weekend. On Sunday, Italian voters will head to the polls to decide whether they wish to grant their prime minister power to usher in sweeping financial reforms to the country. A "no" vote may put the nation in violation of European Union rules.

Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald breaks down how populism is sweeping across Europe and the ramifications for investors. More important, these changes could be extremely profitable to investors in the weeks ahead. Fitz-Gerald lays out his three-part strategy for the Italy vote. Check it out, right here.

Top Stock Market News Today, Dec. 1, 2016

  • It was a huge day for the U.S. automotive industry. Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) surged more than 5.4%. The company announced that its November domestic sales increased 8% compared to the same period last year. Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) added more than 4% on the day.
  • Shares of Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) fell by more than 5.7% after the discount retailer fell short of Wall Street expectations. The firm reported an earnings per share (EPS) figure of $0.89, which was $0.04 short of expectations. The company blamed its disappointing results on a decline in grocery prices and a decrease in food stamp coverage in a few states.
  • Today's big winner was Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE). The heavy machine manufacturer received a 2.3% boost after it received stock upgraded from Bank of America Corp.'s (NYSE: BAC) investment arm, Merrill Lynch. The investment firm lifted DE stock to a "Buy" rating and set a price target of $124 per share. That represents upside of nearly 25% from Wednesday's closing price.
  • After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc.(Nasdaq: ULTA), Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY), and Smith & Wesson Holding Co. (Nasdaq: SWHC).

Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard speaks at 8:45 a.m.
  • Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo speaks at 12:30 p.m.
  • Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) Rig Count at 1 p.m.

Up Next: How Small Investors Can Take on Wall Street… and Win

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