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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today couldn't gain the strength to hit 20,000 points as technology and consumer discretionary stocks weighed down the index. The index fell triple digits during the day, and all 11 major S&P sectors finished the day in the red.
Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 19,833.96; -111.08; -0.56%
S&P 500: 2,249.93; -18.95; -0.84%
Nasdaq: 5,438.56; -48.89; -0.89%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Thursday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Dow Can't Reach 20,000 Barrier; Tech Stocks Follow NVDA Down
The Dow Jones dipped 111 points during a day of light trading. A downturn in technology stocks pulled the Nasdaq down 49 points, while a slide in consumer discretionary stocks pulled down the Dow. A slide in The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) offset positive momentum from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA).
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) dipped 0.5%, while Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) dipped another 0.9% on the day. Other leading decliners on the day included Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), which dipped 4.4% and 4.4%, respectively.
In economic news, the uptick in mortgage rates are weighing on home sales. According to the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, housing sales decreased by 2.5% in the month of November. The index hit its lowest level since January 2016. Mortgage lenders weren't willing to just blame the drop on an uptick in borrowing costs. They also cited a tight supply of available homes in major U.S. markets.
The U.S. dollar continues to rise toward a 14-year high, while the British sterling hit a two-year low. The greenback has been rallying since the election of President-elect Donald Trump and the decision by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. That latter factor – rising interest rates – has many investors and economists concerned about the stability of the U.S. national debt, the U.S. economy, and the broader stock market.
Over the last two weeks, Money Morning has been putting together a guide on how higher interest rates can cause a stock market crash. Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt and Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald offer their unique perspective on how to protect yourself in the short term and invest for the long term. Read it right here.
Crude oil prices were rising for the fourth consecutive trading session as traders anticipate OPEC and non-OPEC nations to honor their agreement to cut excessive production. This deal will kick off Jan. 1, and it is expected to reduce global output by roughly 1.8 million barrels per day. Earlier this week, Venezuela said it will cut 95,000 barrels each day starting Sunday.
The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6% and hit an 18-month high to close the day's trading session. Meanwhile, Brent crude gained more than 0.5%.
Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors has spent the last two weeks of 2016 putting together his 2017 oil price forecast for our readers. Earlier this year, he set predictions for December 2016 for both WTI crude and Brent crude. Sure enough, both types of oil are trading in the range he projected. Now, he's setting his price targets in his 2017 oil forecast.
But the big story today is the stocks you should own tomorrow. With just two trading sessions left in 2016, it's time to look forward to the year ahead. Money Morning has compiled a list of our best stocks to buy for January 2017.
These top picks will deliver consistent gains well into the new year, no matter where markets go next. Given that the markets have a strong upward bias over time, these are the best stocks for the long term. Read our list, right here.
Top Stock Market News Today, Dec. 28, 2016
- Shares of Kate Spade & Co. (Nasdaq: KATE) surged more than 25% and were temporarily halted due to ongoing volatility. The stock has been surging on news that the specialty retailer is seeking a potential buyer.
- Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) fell more than 1.7% on the day. The company announced it has canceled a deal to purchase 18 wide-body jets from Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). Shares of Boeing dipped 0.8% after the announcement.
- The technology sector took a bruising from a sharp downturn in Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) stock. Shares fell roughly 7% after 10 consecutive winning sessions. Notorious short-seller Citron Research tweeted that it foresees the stock falling back to $90.00 per share in 2017, which kicked off the downturn. The company listed six risks that it believes Wall Street investors are ignoring. That tweet pummeled the semiconductor sector and the broader Nasdaq index. Nvidia has been the top performing stock of 2016 and is expected to continue its positive momentum well into 2017 thanks to its advances in artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- International Trade in Goods at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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