Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Climbs After Fed Releases December 2016 FOMC Minutes

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today climbed higher and put the index within 100 points of 20,000.

The uptick came after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its December meeting.

The report indicates that the central bank raised rates as a direct response to Trump's incoming tax policies.

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 pushed into record territory thanks to a strong boost in the biotech sector. Shares of Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) added the biggest bump to both indices after the firm announced the hiring of a new oncology chief.

The GILD stock price climbed more than 3.5% on the day.

With the markets trading near historic levels at the start of 2017, investors are looking for the best investments when the market is high. Here's our list of the five stocks to buy, right now.

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

Dow Jones: 19,942.16; +60.40; +0.30%

S&P 500: 2,270.75; +12.92; +0.57%

Nasdaq: 5,477.00; +47.92; +0.88%

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 Back Within Striking Distance of 20,000

The Fed has forecasted at least three interest rate hikes this year. According to the Fed minutes released today, the central bank increased its benchmark rate in response to the market reactions to President-elect Donald Trump and his planned fiscal policies.

It was a big day for automotive stocks. Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) rallied more than 4.5% after both firms reported strong domestic sales in December.

Crude oil prices were rebounding from a two-week low thanks to an expected increase in U.S. crude inventories. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.7% as traders await the release of the weekly crude report from the Energy Information Administration. Analysts project that U.S. inventories will decline by 1.7 million barrels.

Brent crude gained 1.6% on increased optimism that that OPEC members and non-OPEC nations will cut excessive crude oil production. This morning, Kuwaiti officials said they will cut 131,000 barrels per day. All eyes are on the next OPEC meeting set for Jan. 21 in Vienna, Austria.

Don't Miss: My (Bold) 2017 Oil Price Forecast - and Today's Most Profitable Energy Play

Oil investors are also waiting for the Saudi Aramco IPO date. Though it hasn't been confirmed, the deal is expected to launch in 2018. This would instantly create the world's largest public company and may set a market capitalization above $2 trillion. But there are three obstacles that could hold this deal back. Read about them, right here.

But the big story today is the Affordable Healthcare Act. With the Trump administration just weeks away from entering the White House, Republicans are aiming to fulfill a campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law.

On Wednesday, Congressional Democrats went on the attack, accusing President-elect Trump of making American sick again. During a press conference in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Republicans have no idea what to do about healthcare.

Earlier in the day, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promised to ensure an "orderly transition." They also said the Republican Congress has several ideas to replace the unpopular law.

Stock Market News: Jan. 4, 2016

  • Shares of Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) rebounded after a tough week of trading. Citron Research forecasted the stock would fall to $90.00 per share. Investors started buying shares again as Nvidia's CEO prepares to give the keynote speech this evening at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The event is an opportunity for technology giants like Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC), and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) to unveil a new line of products and services for 2017. This year's show will center heavily on corporate advancements in artificial intelligence, deep learning, autonomous vehicles, and more.
  • Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) gained more than 0.2% after the stock received an upgrade from Zacks Investment Research. The company had been under pressure in recent weeks after Trump challenged the company's costs for its aircraft program. Despite the Trump rant, Lockheed is one of the three defense best defense stocks to buy today. Click here to see the other two defense stocks to buy.
  • Each day, Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon offers his daily column to 16,000-plus readers. Today, Bill is back with a must-own investment play that is poised to break out in the year head. Here's his latest insight.

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

  • Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
  • ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11 a.m.
  • Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 3-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Three-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 30-Year Bond Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

Get on the Path to Greater Wealth: When it comes to making money in the market, "getting in" early - before a stock begins to make its decisive move - is the single biggest factor to your success as an investor. Quickly buying Apple after the June 2013 sell-off, for instance, could have doubled your money. Moving on Valeant the same day we recommended our big "negative bet" against it would've booked you a remarkably fast 700% return. That's why we've introduced Money Morning Profit Alerts. This new, free service lets you choose what investing areas you want to follow - and makes sure you get alerted to news from that sector as soon as we publish it. It means no more waiting. No more searching. No more missing out. It's easy to get started - just go here.

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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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