Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Climbs Ahead of Janet Yellen's Statement

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today was ticking higher as markets prepared for another busy day of earnings and a statement from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Dow Jones Industrial Average

Global stock markets were mixed overnight. The global markets are taking a wait-and-see approach as the world prepares for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones slipped 58 points after traders digested the latest statements from President-elect Trump on the strength of the U.S. dollar and his views on drug prices.

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

Dow Jones: 19,826.77; -58.96; -0.30%

S&P 500: 2,267.89; -6.75; -0.30%

Nasdaq: 5,538.73; -35.39; -0.63%

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 31-point gain as investors parse through earnings reports from a number of blue-chip companies and the markets prepare for statements from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The central bank leader is expected to comment on monetary policy in the era of President-elect Donald Trump. The Fed has signaled that it will consider at least three interest rate hikes in 2017. Traders are looking for validity.

Fourth-quarter 2016 earnings reports begin in earnest this week. Given the "Trump Bump" that played out from November through the new year, and the incoming administration's regulatory stance, most analysts expect financials to be the standout performers.

We happen to agree this time, but with a big difference. Here's what you need to know.

Crude oil prices were sliding as traders prepare for an update on U.S. production figures from the Energy Information Administration later today. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 1.6%. Brent crude fell 1.5%.

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But the big story is happening in the retail industry.

Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) fell nearly 4% in pre-market hours after the retail giant reported a big drop in sales during the holiday season. The firm also slashed its fourth-quarter earnings forecast. The news was so damaging that it fueled a 1% decline in shares of rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

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Stocks to Watch Today, Jan. 18, 2017

  • General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is in focus after the company announced a commitment to invest $1 billion into its U.S. manufacturing base. Many investors believe that President-elect Donald Trump is the reason for the investment after he criticized the company for its outsourcing practices. But General Motors is going out of its way to announce that it has nothing to do with the president-elect. Find out whether or not to believe them, right here...
  • In earnings news, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) is generating buzz as the investment firm reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Shares were pushing higher after the iconic Wall Street bank topped earnings expectations. The stock has been on a monumental tear since the election of Donald Trump on Nov. 8. In fact, the company reported an earnings per share increase to $5.08 from $1.27 in the same period of 2016.
  • Keep an eye out for additional earnings reports from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Fastenal Co. (Nasdaq: FAST), Charles Schwab Corp. (Nasdaq: SCHW), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: AMTD), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE: CP), HB Fuller Co. (NYSE: FUL), and Northern Trust Corp. (Nasdaq: NTRS).
  • Finally, to find the best tech stocks to buy in 2017, we picked from the four tech trends ready to take off this year. Sales growth in these industries is expected to rise as much as three times, 12 times - in one case 30 times - by 2020. And the top stock picks in each sector have share-price targets as much as 40% to 100% higher than where they trade today. Check out the latest insight from Money Morning Director of Tech & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson. Read it, right here.

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

  • MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
  • Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
  • Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
  • Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
  • Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
  • Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Kashkari speaks at 10 a.m.
  • Beige Book at 2 p.m.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 3 p.m.
  • Treasury International Capital at 4 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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