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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat in early trading hours as investors focus on concerns about populism sweeping the globe and the policies of an incoming Trump administration.
On Tuesday, the Dow climbed 35 points after banking and telecom stocks helped offset declines in the energy and utility sector.
Let's look at the numbers from Monday 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%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Wednesday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a more than five-point decline as investors continue to speculate on the timing of the next interest rate hike and digest another busy morning of earnings reports. In addition, investors are expecting the European Central Bank to unveil another round of stimulus efforts in order to bolster the Eurozone.
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 sit at 94.9%.
Gold prices are sliding this morning as expectations for a rate hike and a rising U.S. dollar continue to weigh on commodities. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth says gold prices might see some more weakness for a little while longer. But he expects a bounce from healthy bargain hunting. Here his latest forecast for gold prices as we head into 2017.
Oil prices were sliding on concerns that OPEC's production deal might not cut enough excessive crude output to stave off a global crude glut in 2017. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains that OPEC is no longer in charge of where oil prices will be heading in 2017, and he lays out his forecast for crude prices by the end of next year. See Dr. Moors' latest insight on the OPEC deal, who benefits the most from higher prices, and his latest price target.
The WTI crude oil price today fell 0.7% in pre-market hours, while the Brent crude oil price fell 0.5%. Keep a close eye on a report this morning from the Energy Information Administration, which will announce the weekly crude inventory levels for the United States. Any uptick in crude production could fuel additional declines in crude prices.
But the real story today is the increased optimism that CEOs and their companies have over the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. According to CNN Money, Japanese financial giant Softbank Group Corp. (OTCMKTS: SFTBF) has announced plans to invest $50 billion into U.S. startups with the goal of creating 50,000 jobs. The company made the announcement after Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son met with President-elect Trump in New York. Trump is claiming responsibility for the investment.
Stocks to Watch Today, Dec. 7, 2016
- It will be a busy day of skepticism in Washington, D.C., today. The CEOs of AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) will testify before Congress and attempt to convince senators that a massive merger between the two cable giants will create lower prices and other benefits for consumers.
- Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) rebounded in early trading after a surprise tweet by President-elect Donald Trump threatened a company contract on Tuesday morning. Trump threatened to cancel a contract for two new Air Force One planes over concerns that the company had charged too much money. Trump has said he wants to renegotiate the deal.
- In earnings news, shares of Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PLAY) rallied more than 12.5% after the company topped Wall Street expectations after the bell on Tuesday.
- Look for earnings reports from Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB), United Natural Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI), Taliored Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRD), Vera Bradley Inc. (NYSE: VRA), Korn Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), and Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: OLLI).
- Finally, we're keeping a close eye on the ongoing run for stocks since the 2016 election. Stock markets might have shattered record highs this month, but these overheated markets could signal a 2017 market crash. Money Morning experts offer several ways to both protect your investments and even make money during a crash. Be sure to read our stock market crash protection plan before it's too late.
Today'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.
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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.