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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today dipped before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office.
Today, the U.S. Senate held its confirmation hearing for President-elect Trump's Treasury secretary pick, Steven Mnuchin. During a contentious hearing, Mnuchin answered tough questions over his former firm OneWest's foreclosures on homeowners.
Mnuchin also fueled a sharp downturn in both Federal National Mortgage Association (OTCMKTS: FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (OTCMKTS: FMCC) after saying that the two companies may have to run without creating new risks for the federal government.
Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 19,732.40; -72.32; -0.37%%
S&P 500: 2,263.69; -8.20.; -0.36%
Nasdaq: 5,540.08; -15.57; -0.28%
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 Slides 72 Points as Trump Inauguration Day Approaches
The Dow Jones slipped 72 points after another busy day of earnings reports, economic data, and speculation on Capitol Hill over the incoming Trump administration's cabinet picks. Housing starts jumped to 1.226 million units in December, well above economist expectations. That is another sign that the housing market is healthy. Despite the positive news, housing stocks slumped. Shares of KB Home (NYSE: KBH) fell 1.8%, and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) dipped 0.2%.
Trending: Best Stocks to Buy for January 2017
Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected last week. The number of Americans seeking state benefits declined by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists had anticipated that jobless applications would increase to 254,000 last week.
On the European front, investors are still reacting to an announcement that the European Central Bank will keep monetary policy unchanged. During a press conference, ECB President Mario Draghi said he has seen no evidence of increasing inflation.
Crude oil prices pushed higher after the International Energy Agency announced that it foresees global supplies tightening in the months ahead. The global energy agency said that it expects supply levels to tighten even before we are able to gauge the impact of OPEC's planned deal to cap excessive oil production.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced crude inventories increased last week. Domestic inventories increased by 2.3 million barrels. That figure is much higher than analysts' consensus expectations of a 342,000-barrel decline.
The WTI crude oil price today was up 0.5%. Meanwhile, Brent crude was also up 0.5%.
But the big story is the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017.
Here's more on the 2017 inauguration.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: Jan. 19, 2017
- Shares of CSX Corp. (Nasdaq: CSX) surged 23% and hit a 52-week high after rumors emerged that an activist investor is targeting the company. According to The Wall Street Journal, Hunter Harrison, the former CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP) is working with former Pershing Square veteran Paul Hilal on what can be deemed a major turnaround effort for CSX.
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is generating headlines on news that he is heading to court in Hawaii. In 2014, the billionaire purchased 700 acres of beachfront property for roughly $100 million. Now he is suing hundreds of locals in the area who still have legal ownership claims to parts of his estate through their ancestors. Here's how Zuckerberg became a "Hawaiian land tyrant."
- In other railway news, shares of Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) gained more than 2% after the firm topped quarterly profit expectations on Wall Street.
- Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) added 4.5% and hit an all-time intraday high after the global streaming provider announced a huge jump in subscribers after the bell Wednesday. The uptick in customers was far bigger than Wall Street had anticipated.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 9 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John C. Williams speaks at 1 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 8:00 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.