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In Dow Joes news today, the Dow climbed closer to 21,000 thanks to an uptick in crude oil prices, energy stocks, and retail stocks.
Markets also cheered another round of positive earnings results and an important nomination by President Donald Trump to his administration.
Investors continue to push stocks higher on promises of Trump's tax reform, even though no details have been released.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,743.00; +118.95; +0.58%
S&P 500: 2,365.38; +14.22; +0.60%
Nasdaq: 5,865.95; +27.37; +0.47%
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: Energy and Retail Stocks Push Dow into Record Territory
The Dow climbed thanks to a positive earnings report from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and another solid pop from Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). Markets largely ignored a 5.3% drop in shares of HSBC Holdings Plc. (NYSE ADR: HSBC) after the London-based bank issued a dismal outlook.
Shares of WMT climbed 3% after the firm topped expectations in the previous quarter. The firm surprised investors with the announcement of higher comparable store sales. The firm also said it experienced a strong uptick in online sales, boosted by a new promotional program that reduces shipping costs. Wal-Mart is working diligently to capture market share in the e-commerce space from Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
Today, markets were also speculating on the timing of the next interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Three members of the central bank gave speeches on the U.S. economy and monetary policy. The rate chatter will accelerate tomorrow when the Fed Open Market Committee releases minutes from its first meeting of 2017.
Crude oil prices pushed higher after OPEC leadership discussed the prospect of additional crude production cuts. OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said data proved the global oil cartel had reached a 90% compliance target with its goal of reducing output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). The secretary general expressed optimism that the global oil cartel could surpass its production cut goals.
The WTI crude oil price today added 1.1%. Brent prices also climbed .87%.
Oil prices have surged 50% over the last year, and Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors forecasts another 20% rise in oil prices in 2017. For that reason, we're showing you the best crude oil stocks to buy in 2017 so you can profit from soaring oil prices.
But the big news is the potential bubble investors may face on the horizon…
Right now, Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt argues that the markets are sitting in bubble territory. And that can be a very dangerous prospect for anyone with a retirement account.
If you want to make money when the smoke clears and reality begins to set in for the global markets, Michael has just served up two investment opportunities.
Stock Market News: Feb. 21, 2017
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) are trading at record levels, and the tech giant received another big upgrade from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). The investment bank hiked its Apple price target from $150.00 to $154.00 per share on increased optimism that Apple will boost its sales of iPhones in 2017. Here's more on what you can expect from the Apple stock price in the future.
- In deal news, cybersecurity breaches have knocked down the value of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) by $350 million. According to TechCrunch, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is prepared to purchase the company for $4.48 billion.
- That wasn't the only deal to generate headlines. Shares of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. (Nasdaq: PLKI) jumped more than 19% and hit an all-time record high today. That's because Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) is prepared to make an offer for the company. Shares of Restaurant Brands, which already owns Burger King and Tim Horton's, climbed nearly 7% on the news.
- Meanwhile, shares of Kraft Heinz Co. (Nasdaq: KHC) fell 1.8% after the company announced it was backing out of any further offers for rival Unilever Plc. (NYSE ADR: UL). The Warren Buffett-backed food and snack giant made a surprise $143 billion offer for the Anglo-Dutch company. However, investors appeared to have revolted against the proposal, and concerns about geopolitical backlash worried Buffett. Shares of UL stock fell more than 7%.
- Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) slumped more than 5% after the global mining giant reported it is likely taking the Indonesian government to an arbitration hearing over a massive contractual dispute. The company says it is seeking damages after the dispute caused the shutdown in operations at the world's second-largest copper mine.
- In earnings news, shares of Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) easily topped Wall Street profit and earnings expectations. The home improvement retailer was helped by an improving U.S. housing market and news of a $15 billion stock buyback program. Shares of HD stock climbed 1.4%.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA), Texas Roadhouse Inc. (Nasdaq: TXRH), HealthStream Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM), and Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Two-Year FRN Note Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Gov. Jerome Powell speaks at 1 p.m.
- Five-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- FOMC Minutes 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.