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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today climbed to an all-time closing high as investors continued to shrug off concerns about Sunday's Italian referendum.
This morning, the U.S. Labor Department said U.S. productivity had increased by 3.1% in the third quarter. This news is the latest sign the labor market is healthier and wages are growing.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 19,251.78; +35.54; +0.18%
S&P 500: 2,212.23; +7.52; +0.34%
Nasdaq: 5,333.00; +24.11; +0.45%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Wednesday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Productivity Fuels Climb
The Dow Jones climbed 35 points after banking and telecom stocks helped offset declines in the energy and utility sector. Shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) helped push the S&P 500 financial index up nearly 0.5% on the day. Telecom stocks had their best day in two weeks after Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) announced plans to sell 29 data centers to connectivity giant Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) for $3.6 billion. Shares of Verizon climbed 1.5% on the day.
Investors are keeping an eye on the U.S. Federal Reserve as the central bank plans to meet next week to discuss its first possible interest rate hike since December 2015. According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, the odds of a rate hike during next week's meeting sits at 94.9%.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has done an immense amount of damage to the American economy over the last decade. While everyone is focusing on rate hikes, Money Morning breaks down another radical option being considered by the central bank to prop up the U.S. market. And this nefarious option could very well destroy capitalism once and for all.
It's not just the central bank of the United States that deserves scrutiny. The European Central Bank will have an important announcement on its monetary policy on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Europe is facing serious geopolitical and economic problems.
That makes many investors think that the United States is the only game in town to grow your money over the long term. But Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald argues that investors can't ignore China. That's because many S&P 500 companies are generating a significant source of their revenue from China. Fitz-Gerald appeared on FOX Business Monday to discuss investment opportunities. Watch his interview – including his prediction for when Dow 20,000 will happen – right here.
The WTI crude oil price today fell 1.6% as traders took gains off the table from the recent increase in crude prices. Meanwhile, Brent crude dipped 1.8% as skepticism slipped through the cracks regarding OPEC's production deal to cut excessive crude output. Brent crude had jumped as much as 15% since the Nov. 30 meeting among OPEC suppliers. However, there is one wrinkle in the plan.
But the big news was happening again with President-elect Donald Trump.
The president-elect took another hardline stance with an American company on jobs and government contracts. This time, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) received a stern lecture on its contract for two new Air Force One jets. In a tweet this morning, Trump said that the cost of the two jets – part of a roughly $4 billion contract – was too expensive and said he'd cancel the order.
Shares of Boeing stock fell more than 1.4% in pre-market hours but rallied back to finish the day flat. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) also fell 0.4%. Lockheed is developing a new series of military helicopters, and investors are wondering if Trump will put the company in his crosshairs as well.
Top Stock Market News Today, Dec. 6, 2016
- One of Money Morning's favorite stocks to buy for 2017 received a nice bump in its share price this afternoon. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) added 0.6% after company CEO Tim Cook announced record-setting sales of the Apple Watch in the current quarter. Cook's statement refutes a recent report by research firm IDC, which projected that Apple's sales for the product were off at least 71% from the same period last year. If you want to know the other stocks to buy for the year ahead, click here right now.
- Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) added nearly 1% after the company announced plans to tap into the global debt markets to bolster its investments in autonomous vehicles and other advanced technologies. The company said it would be aiming to raise $2.8 billion by selling 10- and 30-year bonds.
- In earnings news, shares of Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) rallied more than 4.5% after the company easily beat Wall Street earnings expectations for the fifth straight quarter. The residential construction company said that higher home prices and higher average sales prices helped bolster its bottom line. Toll also issued a positive outlook for the 2017 construction industry.
- Meanwhile, AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) topped Wall Street earnings expectations and reported the 41st consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in its earnings per share (EPS) figure.
- After the bell, look for earnings reports from Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PLAY), AeroVironment Inc. (Nasdaq: AVAV), and Oxford Industries Inc. (NYSE: OXM).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7: a.m.
- Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index at 8:30 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.