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The Dow also climbed thanks to testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who recommended the central bank raise interest rates.
Despite today's big gains, this record-breaking run has some investors wondering if the stock market is too high.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,504.41; +92.25; +0.45%
S&P 500: 2,337.58; +9.33; +0.40%
Nasdaq: 5,782.57; +18.62; +0.32%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Wednesday's economic calendar.
Dow Jones News Today: Dow Reaches Another Record
Fed Chair Janet Yellen appeared before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday and offered insight on the central bank's monetary policy positions. During her testimony, Yellen said that the central bank will likely need to increase interest rates at an upcoming meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee. This week, U.S. expectations for inflation were set for 3% annually, while the U.S. job market remains robust.
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Yellen did also note increased uncertainty over the planned economic policies of the Trump administration. However, she also said that delaying a rate hike could force the central bank to hike rates aggressively in the future and increase the risk of a possible recession.
The central bank has only raised interest rates two times since the Great Recession.
The Janet Yellen speech today was an important event because Republicans have been looking to curb the central bank's power. With both chambers of Congress and the presidency under GOP control, Yellen and her team are operating in a far different environment than they did under the Obama administration.
Crude oil prices were pushing higher Tuesday thanks to OPEC's ongoing efforts to cap excessive production. In recent trading sessions, crude prices have been rising and falling depending on the sentiment of the day. Though OPEC has established 90% compliance in its deal to reduce global crude output by 1.8 million barrels, rising U.S. production continues to weigh on global sentiment.
The WTI crude oil price today added 0.4%. Brent crude gained 0.7%.
But the biggest news today is about the South China Sea.
For the last few years, six nations have made overlapping claims to waters that are home to $5 trillion in annual shipping and rich in fishing and oil. And the U.S. Navy is now ramping up an aggressive stance, and China is not pleased by any proposed U.S. action.
While everyone is focusing on Europe as the geopolitical hotspot of 2017, you do not want to miss the profit potential from the battle between China and the United States.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: Feb. 14, 2017
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) were climbing as markets made wagers that the 10th anniversary of the company's iconic iPhone will help bolster sales. Wall Street banks also believe that the company's strong sales of the iPhone 6S two years ago have set up the company for a positive sales trend and customers will begin to upgrade their hardware soon.
- In deal news, the $34 billion deal between Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is officially dead. The health insurance giants were unable to receive approval from a federal court after a judge argued the deal would stifle competition in the Medicare Advantage program. According to terms of the breakup, Aetna must pay Humana a $1 billion fee. Aetna will also no longer be forced to sell certain Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: MOH).
- Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) climbed over 4% on news that France's PSA Group is evaluating a deal to purchase European carmaker Opel from GM.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Fossil Inc. (Nasdaq: FOSL), Devon Energy Corp.(NYSE: DVN), Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), LendingClub Corp. (NYSE: LC), and Express Scripts Holding Co. (NYSE: ESRX).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
- Janet Yellen speaks at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren speaks at 12 p.m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker speaks at 12:45 p.m.
- Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley speaks at 7:15 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.