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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was taking a break from its remarkable post-election run as futures were off slightly in pre-market hours.
Traders are taking a wait-and-see approach this morning as the U.S. Federal Reserve prepares to wrap up its final meeting on monetary policy later during today's trading session. The Dow is currently sitting roughly 100 points shy of Dow 20,000. Whether the index can hit that milestone psychological barrier will be a question on everyone's mind this afternoon.
On Tuesday, the Dow hit another record high – adding 114 points — as investors continued to cheer an uptick in energy stocks. In addition, technology stocks helped propel the triple-digit rally.
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%
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 16-point decline at 8:40 a.m. as investors prepare for a busy day of economic data and the start of the Federal Reserve's final meeting on monetary policy of 2016. During the December FOMC meeting, the Fed is expected to debate the impact of President-elect Donald Trump's planned fiscal policies on the U.S. economy.
Some anticipate that while Trump's policies will be pro-economic growth, they could also spur inflation faster than the Fed had anticipated. There's also an even more important question that traders are asking about today's FOMC conference. Read all about it before it's too late.
The markets have been on a tear in recent weeks. 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. The uptick in the markets has many wondering what are the best stocks to buy for the road ahead. [Editor's Note: We break down those companies, right here.]
Crude oil prices were sliding this morning from their record high for 2016. The downtick comes despite predictions by global oil cartel OPEC that the international energy markets will rebalance sooner than previously expected. The statement comes just days after OPEC nations confirmed that they will take part in planned production cuts and 12 non-OPEC nations, including Russia and Mexico, agreed to reduce their production output to help support global crude prices.
The WTI crude oil price today dipped 1.8%. Meanwhile, Brent crude fell 1.5%.
But the big news this morning is happening in Trump Tower later today. President-elect Donald Trump will meet with leadership of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and many other tech firms on Wednesday. Despite the widespread opposition to Trump's presidency by Silicon Valley, Trump is looking to establish relationships with technology firms as his inauguration approaches.
Some are calling the meeting a potential olive branch. Others think it will simply be a policy meeting to discuss a range of possible legislation backed by Trump. The president-elect has opposed Silicon Valley's goals for loosened immigration policy; however, Trump does support lower taxes and plans to help large companies repatriate their large cash hoards sitting offshore.
Stocks to Watch Today, Dec. 14, 2016
- Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) were ticking up more than 1.2% despite news that hedge fund Pershing Square Capital has sold at least 3.4 million of the company's shares. According to reports, the firm sold shares of its massive holdings in order to harvest losses for its investors. Shares are trading just shy of $15.00, but investors need to steer clear. Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt has warned that the company's stock is practically worthless.
- Shares of NVIDIA Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) added another 1.3% after the firm received a stock upgrade from investment research giant Evercore. NVDA has been a longtime favorite and portfolio holding of Money Morning Director of Tech & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson. Since 2015, the stock is up more than 181%, and other research firms are finally recommending the stock as the company's artificial intelligence products are a huge profit center for investors. Want to know what other tech stocks are poised for huge gains before Wall Street piles on? Check out Robinson's latest research, right here.
- In earnings news, global manufacturing giant Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY) fell short of Wall Street Q4 profit expectations but easily topped consensus analyst estimates. Shares of JOY stock were off slightly in pre-market hours after the company blamed an ongoing commodity price slump for its lackluster report.
- Look out for additional earnings reports from Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR), Apogee Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG), Civitas Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: CIVI), Supernus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SUPN), and Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARWR).
Today'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, 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.