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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is flat this morning as investors prepare for another busy day of earnings reports and economic data.
Global stock markets produced mixed results overnight as investors digested a landmark deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, markets remain on edge due to the Dec. 4 Italian referendum on constitutional reforms.
On the data front, investors continue to eye the health and stability of the U.S. labor market. This morning, the Labor Department announced that 263,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That's higher than the 253,000 claims anticipated by economists.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones finished flat after OPEC had announced it had struck a deal to cap excessive crude oil production. The index added almost two points, while the Nasdaq fell 56 points, or 1%, on the day.
Dow Jones: 19,123.38; 1.78; +0.01%
S&P 500: 2,198.81; -5.85; -0.27%
Nasdaq: 5,323.68; -56.24; -1.05%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Thursday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a two-point gain before the bell Thursday. Investors are preparing for two big announcements in the next four days.
First, the U.S. Labor Department will announce the November unemployment rate Friday. That report will be critical in the upcoming December FOMC meeting when the central bank decides if it will increase benchmark interest rates for the first time in a year. Then, on Sunday, Italian voters will head to the polls to vote on a referendum that would change the nation's Constitution and provide its prime minister the powers to usher in a round of structural reforms.
Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald breaks down how populism is sweeping across Europe and the ramifications for investors. Fitz-Gerald explains that Italy could be facing the most significant national reforms since World War II. 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.
The price of crude oil was pushing higher on Thursday as investors continued to digest the remarkable results of the November OPEC meeting. Yesterday's meeting among members of the global oil cartel produced one of the most significant shifts in global oil policy in this young 21st century. OPEC worked with Russia to reduce output and support a rise in crude oil prices to at least $55 per barrel. Key to the deal, Saudi Arabia said it would cut its record production to get its arch rival Iran to agree to the deal.
This morning, WTI crude oil price today added 1.9%, while the Brent crude oil price added 1.9% to top $50 per barrel.
Stocks to Watch Today, Dec. 1, 2016
- As 2016 enters its final month, it's time to look into the future. The year 2017 will be good for some companies and awful for others. In fact, Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt predicts that five failing companies are going to vanish in the next 13 months. Poof. Gone. And you can profit from their demise by learning to trade their stocks.
- Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) are hovering near a 52-week high this morning as investors continue to grow more optimistic about the bank's prospects in the year ahead. And it doesn't hurt that President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former Goldman partner Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary. So where does Goldman Sachs stock go from here? We break down the future of GS stock and what's in store for the financial sector with Mnuchin at the helm, right here.
- In deal news, shares of CLARCOR Inc. (NYSE: CLC) surged roughly 11.3% after the company announced it will sell itself to Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE: PH) for $4.3 billion in cash and debt.
- In earnings news, shares of Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) fell more than 7% after the discount retailer fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm reported an earnings per share (EPS) figure of $0.89, which was $0.04 short of expectations. The company also said that same-store sales fell 0.1% when Wall Street expected a slight increase. The company blamed a downturn in consumer traffic and the broader slump in retail sales.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA), Workday Inc. (Nasdaq: WDAY), Smith & Wesson Holding Co. (Nasdaq: SWHC), The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Express Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPR), Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE) and Lands' End Inc. (NYSE: LE).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
- Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending 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.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.