Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Was Its Lowest of 2017 as Trump Economic Optimism on Hold

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today was its lowest of 2017 as investors seemed unimpressed by Donald Trump's press conference on Wednesday.

The president-elect failed to convince markets that he would enact corporate tax reform, income tax reform, and deregulation in the financial, energy, and agricultural markets. Instead, Trump took direct aim at pharmaceutical companies over drug prices, called CNN "fake news," and threatened to impose tariffs on companies that make products outside of the United States.

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

Dow Jones: 19,891.00; -63.28; -0.32%

S&P 500: 2,270.44; -4.88; -0.21%

Nasdaq: 5,547.49; -16.16; -0.29%

Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Friday's economic calendar.

DJIA Today: Dow Dips Despite Big Gains in Oil Prices; Technology Stocks Slump

The Dow Jones slipped 63 points, while the Nasdaq fell for the first time in 2017. It was a tough day in the technology sector. Shares of Microsoft Inc. (Nasdaq: MSFT) dipped more than 1.5%, and shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) dropped almost 1%. The two companies were the largest drag on the Nasdaq.

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Insurance stocks generated the most buzz today after the U.S. Senate passed its first big hurdle in repealing the Affordable Care Act. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), Express Scripts Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ESRX), Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET), Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM), and Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) all pushed higher after the Senate voted 51 to 48 to approve a budget that would allow Republicans to move forward without having to worry about a filibuster by Democrats.

Gold prices hit a seven-week high after Donald Trump's press conference. In recent weeks both gold and silver prices have declined thanks to increased optimism over Trump's economic policies and forecasts by the U.S. Federal Reserve 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.

Crude oil prices were surging higher for the second consecutive day thanks to increased optimism over OPEC's deal to cap excessive production and some developments in China. According to a new report, auto sales surged in China in 2016 by 13.7% compared to the previous year. The report is seen as a sign that crude demand is poised to surge in the world's most populous nation.

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

The positive news abroad offset a report by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday that U.S. crude inventory levels increased more than analysts had anticipated. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.5%. Meanwhile, Brent crude was up 1.7%.

Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: Jan. 12, 2016

  • Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) plunged more than 10% after the Environmental Protection Agency accused the company of using hidden software to hide undetected excess diesel emissions. The accusation is very similar to the charges that hammered Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS ADR: VLKAY) in 2016.
  • Shares of Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) added more than 1.8% after the company announced plans to create more than 100,000 jobs in the United States. The announcement is yet another sign of increased business confidence after the election of President-elect Donald Trump. That said, Trump has been critical of Amazon and some had speculated that the incoming administration would consider looking at the firm over antitrust concerns. The deal would increase the company's workforce by up to 50%. The announcement comes just days after rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced it will cut hundreds of jobs by the end of the month.
  • In earnings news, shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) fell nearly 1% after the company reported that its quarterly profits declined by 36.5%. The 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. Here is more on this key earnings report.
  • Finally, if you're looking to make real money in 2017, you should start by tapping into the big growth potential of the U.S. defense sector. With President-elect Donald Trump poised to take office within 10 days, investors anticipate the government will spend a lot of money bolstering the U.S. military and ensuring the nation is safe from terrorists and cybersecurity threats. That's why we recommend that you learn about the three top military defense stocks for 2017. These are the best stocks to own in the defense sector.

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

  • PPI-Final Demand at 8:30 a.m.
  • Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 9:30 a.m.
  • Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
  • Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
  • Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 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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