Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Flat as Donald Trump Allegations Swirl

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today slipped ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's first press conference since the election.

Investors are hoping to hear more about Trump's planned economic policies, which include corporate tax reform, income tax cuts, and a large-scale infrastructure program to help boost U.S. economic growth.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones slipped 31 points despite a strong performance by financial and materials stocks. Investors are taking a wait-and-see approach as earnings season kicks into full swing with the reports coming from Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) on Friday.

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

Dow Jones: 19,855.53; -31.85; -0.16%

S&P 500: 2,268.90; 0.00; 0.00%

Nasdaq: 5,551.82; +20.00; +0.36%

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 two-point decline as investors prepared for President-elect Donald Trump to hold his first official press conference since he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election. Today features a light economic calendar and a light roster of companies reporting quarterly earnings.

Once again, the Federal Reserve will be back in focus as New York Fed Bank President William Dudley takes the stage. Dudley will give a speech on banking culture at a symposium in New York this afternoon.

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In oil price news today, crude prices were pushing higher on news that Saudi Arabia was honoring its commitment to cut excessive supply. In the previous two trading sessions, crude fell to a two-month low on concerns that OPEC's deal was in jeopardy after Iraq announced a huge surge in crude exports from its southern ports.

Today will be an important day of data for crude oil traders. The U.S. Energy Information Administration will report weekly crude inventory levels this afternoon. The report comes a day after the agency projected that U.S. daily production output would increase by more than 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017. Previous forecasts projected a decline in output.

The WTI crude oil price today gained 0.5%, while Brent crude added 0.7%.

But the big story is President-elect Donald Trump, who will hold his first press conference since his election.

The press conference is scheduled to begin later this morning.

Trump's use of his Twitter account has already unsettled the stock market. The marketplace perceives that Trump wants better relations with Russia, but may take a hard line on relations with China.

On Tuesday, Buzzfeed reported that Russia had compromising financial information on the president-elect. However, Russia denied having such information and called the report an "absolute fabrication" and an attempt to damage relations between Russia and the United States. In addition, President Obama made his final speech before leaving office, and the talk included a few very thinly veiled statements about the incoming administration.

Here are the stocks to watch today...

Stocks to Watch Today, Jan. 11, 2017

  • Shares of SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE: SVU) plunged more than 7.5% after the company fell well short of Wall Street earnings expectations. The company reported that increased competition in the grocery business led to the firm reporting an adjusted earnings-per-share figure of $0.05. The Wall Street consensus was $0.13.
  • Shares of Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS ADR: VLKAY) are in focus on news that the company is working with the U.S. Justice Department to absolve a $4.3 billion settlement over its diesel emissions scandal. The company also said it will plead guilty to criminal misconduct. VLKAY stock was up nearly 2% in pre-market hours.
  • Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) were off nearly 1% after the automotive giant reported that it expects to be less profitable in 2017 than Wall Street forecasts. Despite the downturn, Ford announced a special dividend of $0.05 per share. The special payout will be added to its regular quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share.
  • In earnings news, look for additional quarterly reports from KB Home (NYSE: KBH) and MSC Industrial Direct Co. (NYSE: MSM).

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

  • MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
  • Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • 10-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
  • New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley Speaks at 1:20 pm.

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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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