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The stock market news today is the Dow falling in pre-market hours as investors weigh the stability of the post-election rally and OPEC's plans to cut additional oil output in the months ahead. Markets are also looking for additional clues into the timing of the next interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones posted a seven-point gain and left the index still within striking distance of 21,000. Banking and energy stocks finally lost steam as investors turned their attention away from President Donald Trump's regulatory efforts. The S&P 500 snapped a five-day winning streak.
Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,619.77; +7.91; +0.04%
S&P 500: 2,347.22; -2.03; -0.09%
Nasdaq: 5,814.90; -4.54; -0.08%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Friday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 13 points in pre-market hours as investors prepare for another big day of earnings reports and key economic data. Markets will look to reignite their momentum on the back of banking stocks, which have risen sharply since the election of President Trump.
On Thursday, President Trump nominated R. Alexander Acosta to be the secretary of labor after fast-food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration. The announcement was overshadowed by a winding press conference in which President Trump discussed U.S.-Russia relations, Hillary Clinton's debate performance, and his personal contempt for the mainstream media. But investors should learn much more about Alexander Acosta. Get started, right here.
Crude oil prices were rising as investors weighed the positives of OPEC's continued efforts to curb excessive supply against new data showing the U.S. crude production and inventories are on the rise. OPEC's deal that took effect Jan. 1 has produced very positive results. Investors are now even speculating that the global oil cartel could extend production cuts beyond the planned target of 1.8 million barrels per day.
While that story has traders cheering, the prospect of higher U.S. production has been supported by rising domestic rig counts and massive inventory jumps. Today, look out for the weekly rig count from Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI).
The WTI crude oil price today added 0.5%. Brent crude dipped nearly 0.2%.
Though the Snapchat IPO date has not been set, the company raised eyebrows Thursday after it reduced its valuation expectations for its opening day on the public markets. The social media giant now expects 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 released today.
It's an incredible valuation for a company that isn't profitable, and Snapchat admitted in its S-1 filing 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.
Don't Miss: The Top 10 IPOs to Watch in 2017
But the big story is the silver investment news today.
While everyone has been talking about the Dow's record run, few headlines have centered on the incredible pop that silver prices have experienced in recent weeks. The price of silver has been on the rise as expectations for rising inflation and increased geopolitical uncertainty have hit the global markets.
Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth predicts that the silver price could gain another 32.8% by the end of the year. This rally will depend on the actions of the global silver market's most influential country. Here's how you can make a lot of money in the commodity markets.
Stocks to Watch Today, Feb. 17, 2017:
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) are in focus as we check in on monthly e-commerce retail sales on Friday morning. AMZN stock gained another 0.2% Thursday and is expected to continue to push higher in the days and months ahead. In fact, our new Amazon stock price prediction shows the e-commerce stock will continue to outperform traditional retailers and push to another huge milestone very soon. For our AMZN stock forecast, click here.
- In deal news, shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) were off 0.2% after the nation's largest independent oil producer announced plans to divest must of its Canadian natural gas assets. A deal could net the company as much as $2 billion. The company has been slowly pulling out of Canada in recent years.
- Meanwhile, activist hedge fund Caerus Investors is pushing Kate Spade & Co. (NYSE: KATE) to explore a possible sale of its operations. Shares gained more than 14% Thursday and continued to tick higher in premarket hours.
- In earnings news, shares of The WhiteWave Foods Co. (Nasdaq: WWAV) were on the rise - adding 0.1% - in pre-market hours. The consumer packaged food and beverage company reported fourth-quarter earnings and its full-year report after the bell Thursday. The company fell short of Wall Street expectations when it reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.34. Wall Street expected an EPS of $0.42.
- Meanwhile, shares of Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) are in focus as the agricultural equipment giant prepares to report first-quarter earnings. Wall Street analysts expect the firm to report a decline in quarterly revenue due to falling commodity prices and sliding farm incomes in its North American business. The company has been engaged in a series of cost-cutting initiatives over the last year. Investors will be looking for an update to their progress and for updates to its 2017 outlook.
- Keep an eye out for earnings reports from F Corp. (NYSE: VFC), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), The J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM), Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO), Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE: SE), Bloomin' Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: BLMN), Barnes Group (NYSE: B), and Aaron's Inc. (NYSE: AAN).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- E-Commerce Retail Sales at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank Loretta Mester speaks on Sunday at 8:15 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.