Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Dips as Investors Eye Fed Speeches

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today projected a loss in pre-market hours as markets prepare for a busy day of speeches from members of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

On Thursday, five members of the Federal Reserve - including Chair Janet Yellen - are speaking. Investors are looking for clues about how the central bank plans to mesh with the incoming Trump administration.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose back within striking distance of 20,000 despite President-elect Donald Trump's press conference. Trump took broad swipes at the pharmaceutical, automotive, and defense industries over outsourcing and government costs.

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

Dow Jones: 19,954.28; +98.75; +0.50%

S&P 500: 2,275.32; +6.42.; +0.28%

Nasdaq: 5,563.65; +11.83; +0.21%

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 projected a 35-point decline a day after President-elect Donald Trump had a press conference where he dumped on several companies and industries. The markets appear disappointed by Trump's statements as he failed to provide a deeper dive into how his policies will promote economic growth in the year ahead. Rather than discuss tax cuts, infrastructure spending, or deregulation, Trump instead focused on recent speculation from the intelligence community.

It's a light day of economic data, but there's still enough information to move the markets. Today, investors need to keep an eye on weekly jobless benefits.

Crude oil prices were bouncing off a one-month low on news that Saudi Arabia has followed through and begun cutting excessive production. The uptick came despite news that U.S. inventory levels rose more than analysts expected last week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that crude stocks increased by 4.1 million barrels last week. That surpassed industry expectations of a 1.2-million-barrel build.

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The WTI crude oil price today gained 1.6%. Brent crude added 1.8% on news that demand is expected to increase in China.

But the big story is happening in the commodity world.

Gold and silver prices are back in focus as Donald Trump prepares for his inauguration.

In recent weeks both gold and silver prices have declined thanks to increased optimism over Trump's economic policies and forecasts by the Federal Reserve that the central bank plans for three interest rate hikes over the next year. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth argues that these factors have pushed gold and silver prices to a bottom. With prices this low, now appears to be the ideal time for investors to take advantage of the situation and buy into two commodities that are poised for a big bump in the year ahead. Here is Krauth's latest gold and silver price forecast.

Stocks to Watch Today, Jan. 12, 2017

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  • Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) are in focus as the company prepares to move into original television and film production. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Silicon Valley giant is ready to take on competitors Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) in the entertainment field.
  • Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) slipped more than 4% after airline company reported an adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.82 in its fourth quarter. The figure matched Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm said it expects its profit margins to expand in the second half of 2017.
  • In earnings news, look for additional quarterly reports from Shaw Communications Inc. (NYSE: SJR) and FuelCell Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL).

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

  • Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 8:30 a.m.
  • Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans Speaks at 8:30 a.m.
  • Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speaks at 12:30 p.m.
  • 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 1:15 p.m.
  • Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
  • Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen speaks at 7 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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