Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Slides as Oil Prices Remain Volatile

Dow Jones Industrial AverageThe Dow Jones Industrial Average today dipped 22 points thanks to a sharp downturn in crude oil prices and concerns about valuations in the market.

The World Economic Forum continued in Davos, Switzerland, where the themes were growing economic inequality, geopolitical instability, and rising populism. The dire mood weighed on global markets.

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

Dow Jones: 19,804.72; -22.05; -0.11%

S&P 500: 2,271.89; +4.00.; +0.18%

Nasdaq: 5,555.65; +16.93; +0.31%

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 Slides as Oil Slumps

The Dow Jones slipped 22 points after oil prices slumped and telecom stocks fell. It was also a tough day for banking stocks despite news that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) easily beat expectations. Shares of AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) all declined today. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) were off 1.7%.

Crude oil prices slumped on news that U.S. shale producers are preparing to ramp up production. The uptick in crude prices above $50 and advancements in cost efficiency have brought many shale fields back online. The Energy Information Administration projected a reversal from the three-month production decline that the United States has experienced. The agency projects that February production will increase by 40,750 barrels per day (bpd) to 4.748 million bpd.

Prediction: Natural Gas Prices in 2017 Will Soar Double Digits

The WTI crude oil price today fell 2.4%. Meanwhile, Brent crude was off 2.3%.

But the big story today is Vice President Joe Biden.

In a stunning speech delivered on the eve of the presidential inauguration, Biden warned that the democratic world order is at risk of collapse. The statement came during a talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Biden took direct aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing the politician of using "every tool" to dismantle the European Union and undermine Western democracies.

Biden also directed ire toward the 1% and said that they are not paying their fair share in taxes.

"We need to tap into the big heartedness," the vice president said. "This is a moment to lead boldly."

Trending: Best Stocks to Buy for January 2017

While politicians are focused on the stability of Western democracies, we're focused on the impact on the stock market. Some investors are wondering if we are on the verge of a stock market crash. What you need to know is that a stock market crash could be coming as soon as stocks pull back from record highs.

Here's our latest insight on the issue.

Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: Jan. 18, 2017

  • Shares of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) fell 1.7% after the company fell short of revenue expectations during its Q4 earnings report. Though the Wall Street bank topped its earnings per share (EPS) estimates, it reported revenue of $17.01 billion. Analysts were looking for revenue of $17.26 billion.
  • Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) slipped 0.6% despite news that the investment bank easily 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.
  • Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) fell nearly 6%. It was the company's largest one-day decline since August. The firm reported very weak sales results from the holiday season and slashed its quarterly earnings forecast.
  • After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.(NYSE: CP), and HB Fuller Co. (NYSE: FUL).

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

  • Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John C. Williams Speaks at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11 a.m.
  • Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Two-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Two-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Five-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Seven-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 10-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 8:00 p.m.

Must Read - This Great Depression-era "Secret" Helped Transform Two Teachers into Millionaires: Donna and Dave R. were both teachers in Boston. But today they're retired millionaires who are also earning $10,000 a month in income. Their secret? Much of their wealth is due to a Great Depression-era "program" most have no idea exists. Full Story

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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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