Dow Jones Industrial Average Hits New Record High with FOMC Meeting in Focus

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today is steamrolling toward the 20,000 level as the post-election rally continues.

The Dow is now up more than 8.5% since Nov. 8 as investors continue to push stocks higher on increased optimism for the U.S. economy under President-elect Donald Trump.

Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) climbed more than 1.6%. The S&P 500 Energy Index added nearly 2% thanks to a nice bump from stocks like Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX).

The Nasdaq climbed as tech stocks like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) pushed higher and JetBlue Airways Corp. (Nasdaq: JBLU) shares popped more than 4%. The airline announced a $500 million buyback program that is double the size that Wall Street analysts had expected.

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

Dow Jones: 19,911.21; +114.78; +0.58%

S&P 500: 2,271.72; +14.76; +0.65%

Nasdaq: 5,463.83; +51.29; +0.95%

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

DJIA Today: Dow Hits New Record and Fast Approaching 20,000 Level

With the Dow within striking distance of the 20,000 mark, investors are wondering when we could see the index surpass this critical psychological mark.

This morning, the Fed Open Market Committee kicked off its final two-day meeting of the year. The markets expect that the Fed will increase interest rates on Wednesday for the first time since December 2015. But the central bank could surprise the markets tomorrow. The Fed has to consider the pending fiscal policies of President-elect Trump and the possibility his policies could increase inflation.

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The WTI crude oil price today pushed slightly higher after OPEC nations confirmed that they will take part in planned production cuts. The statement comes just days after 12 non-OPEC nations, including Russia and Mexico, agreed to reduce their production output in order to help support global crude prices.

The WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%. Meanwhile, Brent crude added 0.1%.

But the big comments of the day come from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) founder Bill Gates. Following a meeting with President-elect Trump, Gates suggested that the future leader's policies and focus on American innovation are comparable to John F. Kennedy. Gates told CNBC this morning that innovation will be critical to solving problems in the clean energy sector.

The billionaire software maker and humanitarian also said that he thinks stocks are getting very expensive during the post-election rally.

Top Stock Market News Today, Dec. 13, 2016

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  • Proteon Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: PRTO) is crashing, down more than 73% after the company said a trial of its chronic kidney disease treatment failed to meet the primary endpoint. Here's what happened to PRTO stock and what to do next.
  • A day after announcing a $17 billion deal with Iran Air, shares of airplane manufacturer Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) fell after the company announced a 30% dividend hike and said it will repurchase roughly $14 billion in stock. The firm also announced it will cut its monthly production of its 777 from seven units to five.
  • In earnings news, shares of VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY) gained more than 8% despite news its annual forecast fell below Wall Street expectations and fueled a round of price target cuts by major brokerages.
  • This morning, the 164-year-old gun maker Smith & Wesson Corp. (Nasdaq: SWHC) announced it will change its name to American Outdoor Brands. The company says it is altering its name to reflect its shift into other recreational goods. Shares of SWHC added nearly 1.2% on the day.
  • U.S. technology companies are eyeing the possibility of expanding to Cuba. This morning, Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) said it reached a deal to place computer services in the island nation. Shares climbed over 1% on the day.

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

  • MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
  • PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
  • Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
  • Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
  • Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2 p.m.
  • FOMC Forecasts at 2 p.m.
  • Fed Chair Press Conference at 2:30 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.

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