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The stock market news today is highlighted by a triple-digit jump in the Dow, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both touched record highs. The markets continued to beat back geopolitical concerns in Europe, and investors focused on the economic policies of President Donald Trump.
During a meeting with airline executives, Trump promised he would soon make a "big league" announcement about U.S. taxes within the next few weeks.
"Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league. We're way ahead of schedule, I believe," Trump said. "And we're going to announce something, I would say over the next two or three weeks, that will be phenomenal in terms of tax."
Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,172.33; +117.99; +0.59%
S&P 500: 2,307.87; +13.20; +0.58%
Nasdaq: 5,715.18; +32.73; +0.58%
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 Rallies 117 Points as Energy Stocks Rally Higher
The Dow Jones added another 117 points after President Trump promised to make an announcement on tax reform and investors pushed stocks to record highs.
Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) added 1.5% and contributed the most to the Dow's gains. Shares of Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB) offered the biggest boost to the S&P 500 after the company topped Wall Street earnings expectations. Shares of VIAB stock added more than 4% on the day.
Nine of 10 major S&P 500 sectors were in the green Thursday. Only utility stocks slumped on the day. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – widely considered the markets' fear gauge – fell nearly 6%.
In economic news, U.S. jobless claims fell to a near 43-year low, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The agency announced the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits last week dropped to 233,000. That figure was below the 250,000 expected by economists and provides another boost to the U.S. labor market.
The U.S. Federal Reserve was back in focus today after St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard spoke on monetary policy at Washington University. Bullard said that interest rates could remain low throughout the year. He argued that it isn't clear whether President Trump's planned economic policies will go into effect and push inflation or economic growth higher.
Crude oil prices were pushing higher despite news that domestic crude stocks increased more than traders anticipated last week. An unexpected drawdown in gasoline inventories helped press the WTI crude oil price today up 1.3%. Brent crude added 1.0%.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States saw a supply increase of 13.8 million barrels last week. That figure is far higher than analysts had projected.
But the big news was the ongoing legal battles between President Trump and the judicial branch. A little more than a week after a federal judge struck down Trump's temporary travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim nations, a judge in Texas has struck down another one of the president's executive orders.
Chief Judge Barbara Lynn for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled to uphold the so-called "fiduciary rule," an Obama-era regulation that is designed to reduce conflicts of interest when financial brokers provide retirement advice to clients. Trump had ordered the Labor Department to review the rule before its implementation on April 10.
The new standard applies to financial advisors of retirement accounts, including individual accounts, and mandates that they always act in the best interest of their clients.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: Feb. 9, 2017
- The uptick in crude prices pushed energy stocks higher. Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) added nearly 0.5%, while Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) added 0.43%. Other active gainers included Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) and FleetCor Tech (NYSE: FLT), which added 5.1% and 17.4%, respectively.
- Even though President Donald Trump loves Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), Wall Street is turning its back on the social media giant. TWTR stock plunged more than 12.7% after the company issued a dismal fourth-quarter earnings report. The microblogging giant reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2013. The firm is under significant pressure to generate advertising revenue at a time that competition is heating up from rivals Snapchat and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB).
- Speaking of Snapchat, the company's parent Snap Inc. continues to generate headlines after it filed for an IPO last week. People have been asking how to invest in Snapchat stock. Before investors start throwing their money at this social media giant, they should first read our latest insight into Snapchat. Money Morning Director of Tech & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson has a way to play the Snapchat IPO that limits risk and can maximize your profits. You can find out more about Robinson's advice, right here.
- Shares of Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) added another 3% as investors continue to pile in on the retail stock after the firm dumped Ivanka Trump's line of clothing. Despite criticism from President Trump yesterday, investors have been rewarding the company. The company drew even greater attention today when a Trump adviser encouraged Americans to purchase his daughter's products at other stores. The statement has drawn significant criticism about Trump's business ties and raises new ethical concerns at the White House.
- In other earnings news, Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) fell more than 2% after the company reported its seventh consecutive decline in quarterly revenue. The company's profit figure matched Wall Street expectations, and revenue did top forecasts thanks to stronger U.S. demand. However, the company released weak projections for 2017 and blamed a stronger U.S. dollar for its impact on its global outlook.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from NVIDIA Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA), Yelp Inc. (Nasdaq: YELP), Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P), Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), and Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.