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In Dow Jones news, the Dow fell as mixed earnings reports and lackluster economic data led to a slight downturn.
The 25-point decline came just hours before President Donald Trump was set to deliver his first speech before a joint session of Congress.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,812.24; -25.20; -0.12%
S&P 500: 2,363.64; -6.11; -0.26%
Nasdaq: 5,825.44; -36.46; -0.62%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Wednesday's economic calendar.
Dow Jones Today: Dow Slides Before President Trump's Speech
The U.S. Commerce Department announced Q4 GDP growth clocked in at an underwhelming 1.9%. The figure was the second revision of GDP growth and came in below analyst expectations.
Tonight, President Trump will give his first speech before a joint session of Congress. The president is expected to discuss his budgetary plans, his economic policy, and other regulatory goals. The speech comes on the heels of the announcement that Wilbur Ross has been named to head the U.S. Commerce Department.
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Tonight's event could be an incredible spectacle. Republicans want President Trump to follow through on his campaign promises to rewrite the U.S. tax code, build a massive border wall, and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Tonight, Democrats plan to use their invitations to host Americans they feel have been wrongly attacked by the president's immigration travel ban.
Oil prices were sliding Tuesday as rising U.S. production levels offset increased optimism that OPEC will surpass its planned global production cuts. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.2%. Brent prices fell another 0.6%.
While oil prices dominated the headlines, the real energy story was happening in Iran. The nation has pitted itself against Russia's top energy producing companies. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors breaks down this looming battle in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) race and offers insight into the global markets. Check out his latest commentary, right here.
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Of course, the big story is President Trump...
One month into his presidency, President Trump has successfully loosened the big pharma industry's grip on exorbitant drug-price increases.
For a sector that has historically relied on price increases in order to bolster its bottom line, the shakeup in the White House has many worried about the future. President Trump has called for stronger Medicare authority in negotiating prices and a "total overhaul" of the healthcare system. That's why if you're an investor in the pharma sector, you need to read this report that tells you the best way to protect yourself and how to profit from industry change.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: Feb. 28, 2017
- The brokerage battles are heating up at a time that the industry's stocks are taking a beating. Today, Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW) announced plans to cut back its ETF trade and online equity commissions. The news comes not long after its rivals made similar announcements. Though SCHW stock fell over 3%, the real loser in the announcement was online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: AMTD), whose shares plunged more than 10%. TD Ameritrade was the worst performer on the Nasdaq as the company is now expected to make similar concessions to its higher trading costs.
- Today's big winner was Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN). Shares added nearly 6% after the discount travel site easily topped Wall Street earnings estimates.
- Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) plunged 13.94% after the floundering Canadian drug company reported yet another quarterly net loss.
- In other earnings news, shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) plunged more than 12% after the stock reported a huge miss in its quarterly profit report. The retailer reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.45, well below the consensus expectations of $1.53. The firm also fell short of revenue expectations. Target added to the bad news by announcing it would suffer a $1 billion hit on its margins as it attempts to bolster its online presence and use discounts to attract customers.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW), Weight Watchers International (NYSE: WTW), and Etsy Inc. (Nasdaq: ETSY).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 12:30 p.m.
- Beige Book 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.