Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Flat as Santa Claus Rally Fizzles

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today is flat in premarket hours as the 2016 Santa Claus rally fizzles. It appears that the Dow will not hit 20,000 in 2016 even though the index came within 20 points of the psychological barrier this week.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones dipped 111 points during a day of light trading. A downturn in technology stocks also pulled the Nasdaq down 48 points.

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

Dow Jones: 19,833.68; -111.36; -0.56%

S&P 500: 2,249.92; -18.96; -0.84%

Nasdaq: 5,438.56; -48.89; -0.89%

Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Thursday's economic calendar.

What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a two-point gain ahead of another busy day of economic data. Markets will be reacting to last week's jobless claims report, two energy reports from the Energy Information Administration and monthly farm prices from the Department of Agriculture.

The Nasdaq has climbed to a record high in 2016 - with the top Nasdaq stocks by share-price gains soaring as high as 1,074%! Here's a list of the top Nasdaq stocks of 2016.

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 perspectives on how to protect yourself in the short term and invest for the long term. Read it all, right here.

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Crude oil prices were steady on Thursday despite news that the American Petroleum Institute announced that domestic crude inventories increased by 4.2 million barrels last week. Traders were more optimistic about the pending OPEC production deal to cut excessive supply. That deal kicks in on Jan. 1.

This morning, keep an eye on the official inventory report from the Energy Information Administration. Analysts expect the U.S. crude inventory levels to decline by 1.4 million barrels.

The WTI crude oil price today was off 0.1%, while Brent crude added roughly 0.4%.

Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors has put together his 2017 oil price prediction as the year concludes. See his price targets in his 2017 oil forecast and start profiting today.

But the big news today is the legendary Warren Buffett.

Shares of Buffett's firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A; BRK.B) skyrocketed 20% in 2016, and it looks like 2017 could be just as good for the Oracle of Omaha. With President-elect Donald Trump likely to loosen the regulatory pressures in Washington on the energy and financial sectors, Buffett's positions are likely to benefit in the years ahead.

Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani predicted the wave of deregulation under Trump back in July. And he has some predictions and one stock poised to profit from the incoming Trump presidency. See his latest insight, right here.

Stocks to Watch Today, Dec. 29, 2016:

  • In deal news, global oil producer BP Plc. (ADR) (NYSE: BP) announced plans to buy the Australian fuels business of Woolworths for $1.29 billion. Many analysts view the acquisition as the firm's latest attempt to move on from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
  • Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) stock is under intense pressure after suffering its worst trading day in a month on Wednesday. Shares plunged more than 6.9% on Wednesday and continued to slide another 1.8% in Thursday's premarket hours after short-seller Citron Research tweeted a forecast arguing the stock would fall to $90.00 per share. Citron claims there are six major problems with the stock and that competitive pressures will wear on the company's profitability in the year ahead.
  • With the new year in our crosshairs, Money Morning has compiled a list of our best stocks to buy for January 2017.
  • Shares of The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) are in focus after Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) had announced it canceled a $4 billion deal for 18 Dreamliner airplanes. Despite the cancellation, the airline manufacturer has received a healthy boost from the election of President-elect Trump. BA stock had rallied 9.7% since Nov. 8.
  • Speaking of Donald Trump, the president-elect announced that wireless carrier Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) plans to bring back 5,000 jobs to the United States. Trump also announced that a new company called OneWeb would also hire 3,000 new employees. The Sprint jobs are part of a deal that Trump reached with SoftBank Corp. (OTCMKTS: STFBF) last month.
  • No major U.S. companies report earnings on Thursday.

Today'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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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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