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In Dow Jones news today, the Dow was sliding in pre-market hours as investors eyed a slew of economic data and a busy day of earnings reports.
Global stocks were pulling back, while gold prices were ticking higher thanks to a weaker U.S. Dollar Index today.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones gained 107 points after a round of positive economic data pushed markets back into record territory. Investors approved of comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and speculated on the timing of President Donald Trump's proposed economic policies.
Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,611.86; +107.45; +0.52%
S&P 500: 2,349.25; +11.67; +0.50%
Nasdaq: 5,819.44; +36.87; +0.64%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Thursday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 40-point decline as markets prepare for a busy day of earnings reports.
Don't Miss: Top 10 2017 IPOs to Watch
On Wednesday, Yellen appeared before the House and defended the central bank's role in helping the economy recover in the wake of the Great Recession. The Yellen speech was important because she acknowledged the U.S. economy remains weak. However, she defended the Federal Reserve's policies and said the policies have done more to help the U.S. economy than hinder it. The central bank is expected to raise interest rates at least three times in 2017. However, the odds of a rate hike in March, according to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, sit at just 17%.
The biggest IPO of 2017 is going to be Snap Inc., a technology firm that owns the social media giant Snapchat. The company foresees a valuation between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion. The firm will price shares between $14 and $16, according to a new regulatory filing.
It's an incredible valuation for a company that isn't profitable, and Snapchat admitted in its S-1 that it may never run a profit. Snapchat stock should therefore be considered a long-term investment, and a risky one that could cost you a bundle on its first day of public trading.
On the Snapchat IPO date, Money Morning Director of Tech & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson has a way investors can maximize their profits and limit their risk.
Crude oil prices were rising in pre-market hours on news that OPEC could expand its production cuts to cap excessive output. The global oil cartel said its membership was on pace to reach its target of slashing 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from its 2016 peak. Members may slash even more if their current agreement fails to reduce global inventory levels.
The WTI crude oil price today is up 0.5%, and Brent crude is also up 0.5%.
In political news, some companies and schools across the nation will be closed Thursday due to a protest. Immigrants will boycott work, school, and engagement of commerce. The strike is called "A Day Without Immigrants" and is designed to protest recent actions by the U.S. government to deport undocumented immigrants.
But the big story is the new "Trump transparency rule," a new order that will be a boon to the competitiveness of U.S. energy companies. According to this policy, U.S. oil companies no longer need to report any of their payments to other governments. And while many oppose the Trump transparency rule, we view this as a bullish catalyst for oil stocks in 2017.
In fact, this could be a very profitable form of deregulation for the energy sector. That's why we've put together our best oil stocks to buy in 2017, right here...
Stocks to Watch Today, Feb. 16, 2017
- Shares of Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are hovering near an intraday 52-week high on news that the company is approaching a revised deal to sell its core assets to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Bloomberg reports the new deal is expected to cut roughly $250 million to $300 million from the original agreement.
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is sitting near a new record high on news that Warren Buffett's investment firm almost quadrupled its stake in the iPhone manufacturer. According to a regulatory filing, Buffett's firm increased its total stake to 57.4 million shares last quarter. Here's more on why Buffett is buying AAPL stock.
- In earnings news, shares of The Wendy's Co. (Nasdaq: WEN) are down 0.2% early this morning. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.08, a figure that fell just short of Wall Street expectations. The downside was limited on news that the restaurant chain announced a stock buyback program, hiked its quarterly dividend to $0.07, and beat Wall Street revenue expectations.
- Keep an eye out for earnings reports from Arista Networks Inc. (NYSE: ANET), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN), Cabela's Inc. (NYSE: CAB), Hyatt Hotels Corp. (NYSE: H), Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF), Tempur Sealy International Inc. (NYSE: TPX), and Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK).
Today'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.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement 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.
- 30-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 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.