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The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down despite a November jobs report that showed the unemployment rate hitting a nine-year low. The sharp decline in joblessness all but ensures that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates during the December FOMC meeting.
Let's look at the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 19,170.42; -21.51; -0.11%
S&P 500: 2,191.95; +0.87; +0.04%
Nasdaq: 5,255.65; +4.55; +0.09%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Monday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Dow Dips Despite Positive November Jobs Report, Oil Price Gains
The Dow Jones fell despite news that the U.S. economy added 179,000 jobs in November. The official unemployment rate also fell from 4.9% to 4.6%.
The November jobs report puts the Federal Reserve back in focus. Given the sharp decline in the U.S. unemployment rate, it is even more likely that the central bank will increase interest rates in December. In addition, speculation is heating up that the Fed could raise rates several times in 2017.
Also in focus at the central bank, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo warned lawmakers to resist the temptation of repealing the "strong foundation" of financial regulations like Dodd-Frank. Tarullo's language suggested that undoing these laws could usher in another financial crisis or stock market crash.
Whether or not Tarullo is right about repealing Dodd-Frank, knowing how to prepare for a stock market crash is a necessity for investors today. With the Fed set to raise interest rates this year and the markets pushing to new highs with few fundamentals to support their valuations, the stock market bubble could pop sooner rather than later.
Here's our survival guide for a possible 2017 stock market crash.
While the unemployment rate is generating all the headlines here in the United States, there's an even bigger event transpiring in Europe. On Sunday, Italian voters will head to the polls to decide whether they wish to grant their prime minister powers to usher in badly needed financial reforms. A "No" vote could paralyze the nation and hold Italy 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.
The WTI crude oil price today added 1.1% and passed $51 per barrel. Meanwhile, the Brent crude oil price gained 0.8%. Oil prices had their single best week since February 2011 after OPEC announced that it had struck a deal to cap excessive production of oil.
Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains that the global oil cartel must now enforce the agreement. With so many members looking out for their own economies, it could be a rocky road. But Moors offers a reason – one reason – for optimism. Here's why the OPEC deal could succeed and push crude prices up.
The other big development today is the planned infrastructure spending by the incoming Trump administration. President-elect Donald Trump has said that his White House will rebuild roads, bridges, and crumbling infrastructure across the country. Here are the best infrastructure stocks to buy ahead of Trump's proposed spending bill.
Top Stock Market News Today, Dec. 2, 2016
- In deal news, shares of Vascular Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: VASC) were on the move on news that Teleflex Inc. (NYSE: TFX) will buy the company for roughly $1 billion.
- In a corporate shocker, Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz has announced he will step down from his role in 2017. However, the popular and outspoken leader plans to stay on as the executive chairman. The company's COO Kevin Johnson will replace Schultz. Shares of SBUX stock fell more than 3%.
- In earnings news, shares of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA) rallied more than 5.5% after the firm topped Wall Street expectations. Meanwhile, shares of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) added nearly 4% after the firm reported a solid earnings beat despite a "challenging" sales environment for retailers. The company also raised its full-year outlook, a statement that boosted shares on Friday.
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Gallup U.S. Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
- New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 9:25 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Labor Market Conditions Index at 10 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.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 2:05 p.m.